With the takeover of Newcastle United being completed on Thursday, the Magpies’ Saudi Arabian owners are ready to splash the cash in the upcoming winter transfer market. A number of players have been earmarked to join Newcastle over the winter, with Antonio Conte being the heavy favorite to replace Steve Bruce as their first-team manager.
As fans of the Toon Army are celebrating the long-awaited departure of Mike Ashley from St James’ Park, Newcastle’s new owners began the tricky yet exciting task of rebuilding the club into title challengers.
Burnley’s reliable defender James Tarkowski is being touted to leave Turf Moor for Newcastle, rejoining former Clarets teammate Jeff Hendrick in the process. Tarkowski’s potential partner in Newcastle’s defense will be highly-coveted Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who had been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs in the past few years.
Newcastle are also planning a potential raid of Manchester United, with defender Eric Bailly, out-of-favor midfielder Donny van de Beek, and attacking duo Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial being linked with the Magpies. Rumors emanating from Sunday Telegraph suggested that Newcastle’s mega-rich owners have already started talks with Lingard, whose contract runs out this summer.
While rumors have been circulating that Newcastle will be aiming for Kylian Mbappe once the Saudis had taken over the club, realistically the Magpies’ chances of swooping in for the French superstar are quite slim. However, Newcastle can still take something away from Paris Saint-Germain, being Argentinian striker Mauro Icardi. It is hoped that Icardi would upgrade Newcastle’s attacking lineup and his potential partnership with the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin could be a sight to behold.
Other than Icardi, Newcastle are also being linked with another PSG player, this time being goalkeeper Keylor Navas. According to Marca, Newcastle are plotting to take advantage of the Parisians’ goalkeeping conundrum, with Navas’ position as PSG’s number one goalie being threatened by new signing Gianluigi Donnarumma.
However, Newcastle’s potential first signing of their new, cash-laden era could be someone who can elevate Southeast Asian interest towards both the club and the Premier League, as the Magpies are planning to poach Malaysian rising star Luqman Hakim away from Belgian top-flight outfit KV Kortrijk. Should the deal goes through and Luqman gets the nod, he will become the second Southeast Asian player to play in the Premier League after Filipino goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
Last but not least, Newcastle’s new owners have realized that having Bruce at the helm as manager would lead the club going nowhere in their ambitious quest for glory. With that in mind, they have lined up a selection of potential replacements, with the likes of Paulo Fonseca, Steven Gerrard, Rafael Benitez, Roberto Mancini, and even Frank Lampard being linked with the St James’ Park job. However, the biggest name to be linked with the Magpies is Antonio Conte, who is currently unemployed after leading Inter Milan to the 2020/21 Serie A title. Conte is no stranger to the Premier League, having revolutionized Chelsea with his 3-4-3 formation, and Newcastle’s owners are looking to see him do more of the same with the Magpies should he gets the job.