Newcastle United are eyeing a move for an “excellent” player who is admired by a legendary former midfielder known to Premier League fans, according to a new report.
Newcastle transfer news
Eddie Howe has had a frustrating period in the last week or so, with a 1-0 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League damaging their hopes of reaching the knockout stages. Not only that, but the 2-2 draw away to Wolves in the league on Saturday was disappointing, considering Newcastle took the lead twice, and there is also the matter of having to accept that Sandro Tonali has been banned for 10 months for betting offences.
While the Magpies’ squad is full of great options these days, whether it be Sven Botman at the back, Bruno Guimaraes in midfield, or Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson in attack, it would be a surprise if the January transfer window passed without any signings being made. Midfield looks like the primary area to focus on, considering the absence of Tonali for the rest of the season, and various names have been thrown into the hat as potential choices.
Now, another individual has emerged as a transfer target for Howe’s side – one who is currently plying his trade abroad and enhancing his reputation.
Newcastle want Exequiel Palacios
According to a fresh transfer claim from TNT Sports [via Sport Witness], Newcastle are interested in signing Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Exequiel Palacios in January. The Magpies are thought to be “seriously considering the possibility” of making a move for the 25-year-old, but they aren’t the only Premier League who are targeting him, with Manchester City and Aston Villa also in the mix. It is seen as a “tantalising opportunity” for Palacios, in terms of moving to arguably the best league in the world, but it remains to be seen if Leverkusen will sanction his exit.
This could be a really exciting piece of business by Newcastle in January, with the defensive midfielder someone who is a key part of an impressive Leverkusen team under Xabi Alonso – one that currently sits top of the Bundesliga, having only dropped point in their first nine matches. Palacios’ statistics sum up how important he is for his side, considering he has started eight of their nine league matches, scoring twice and assisting three times in the process.
There is also the small matter of him winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentine last year, and while he was far from a key starter in the competition, he still appeared in three games overall. Alonso himself is clearly an admirer of Palacios as a player, hailing his influence after returning from the World Cup and saying:
“Pala is back from the World Cup, he’s been playing at an excellent level for two months. The great improvement of the team has come, in large part, thanks to the step forward that Pala has made in his game.”
Leverkusen will no doubt be desperate to retain their player’s services, so it won’t be easy to strike a deal – the lure of joining European champions City could also be great – but Palacios could help fill the Tonali-shaped void, and more.