Newcastle United have been developing their team over the last two transfer windows to improve their presence in the Premier League, and a new potential transfer target has emerged ahead of January.
What’s the latest?
According to Jacque Talbot for Football Transfers, Eddie Howe’s side have joined the race to sign Atletico Madrid and Portugal star Joao Felix.
As per the report, the Magpies – alongside Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Aston Villa – are targeting the 23-year-old, so they will have a lot of competition to secure Felix’s signature.
It is claimed that Newcastle believe that they can get Felix on a cut-price deal but are cautious about signing him due to their well-structured wage bill which could be compromised to secure the Atletico forward.
He’s a big Allan Saint-Maximin upgrade
It was reported this week that Newcastle are looking to sign another wide forward in January to bolster their attacking threat in their pursuit to challenge for a Champions League qualification berth in the Premier League.
The Magpies are currently third in the table after a run of impeccable form which has left them four points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United during the World Cup break.
Newcastle have only lost one top-flight game this season, with only current league leaders Arsenal matching them in that regard, and Howe will be hoping that his team can resume their impressive form when they return to action after Christmas.
One way that the 44-year-old could ensure that his team does not drop off in performances or suffer fatigue which could lead to crucial points being dropped over the second half of the season is by adding depth in the most important areas of the pitch.
As a result, signing Felix would be a major coup for the Tyneside outfit and would fit the profile of player that the club is looking to sign in the new year.
Indeed, the £85.9m-priced Portuguese winger – who was dubbed “outstanding” by Jurgen Klopp – would be a huge upgrade on Newcastle’s current left-sided attacker Allan Saint-Maximin, especially when you compare the players’ respective output over the season so far.
Felix has outperformed Saint-Maximin in many attributes, including goal contributions (6 v 4), shots on target percentage (47.4% v 41.7%), pass completion (73.3% v 66.7%), and tackles and interceptions won (8 v 4).
There seems little doubt that Howe will have been watching the 23-year-old closely at the World Cup in Qatar, as the Atletico gem has been one of the standout performers for his Portugal team over their run in the tournament.
Across four appearances, Felix has scored one goal and registered two assists, along with averaging 0.8 key passes, one tackle, 4.3 successful duels and 2.8 shots on goal per game.
With that in mind, if the powers at St James’ Park could secure a deal for the talented winger, it could set up Newcastle’s forward line for years to come.
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