Newcastle legend Alan Shearer discusses the club takeover
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Newcastle United have reportedly enquired about Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet as a short-term solution to a defensive dilemma in January. The Magpies’ wealthy new owners are believed to be prioritising a left-sided centre-back, and although Lenglet is a capable defender in his own right, his move could be upstaged in the summer if the Toon’s touted move for Matthijs De Ligt comes off.
In the case of Lenglet, both clubs could actually do each other a favour if Newcastle were able to get the deal done.
Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia have both been preferred to the Frenchman at the Camp Nou this season, and Barca could certainly do with trimming their wage bill even more.
Newcastle, meanwhile, are seeking a step up in class to partner Jamaal Lascelles, meaning Lenglet could enjoy far more game time at St James’ Park.
According to SPORT, the Magpies have already asked Barcelona about the possibility of a January move.
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Building a team from the back seems a good way to go for the Saudi-led consortium who bought Newcastle, given they currently sit 19th and without a win.
The only thing which could throw a spanner in the works of a potential move is if Ronaldo Koeman’s prospective sacking grants Lenglet a future at Barcelona.
Results have been disastrous in Catalonia, but even in the midst of the international break, club President Joan Laporta has not yet taken the opportunity to make a change.
Although Lenglet, who has played more than 100 games for Barca and earned 14 caps for France, would be a huge injection of quality on Tyneside, their ambitions supposedly stretch even farther.
The same report states that more lucrative targets will be sought in the summer, with Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt touted as one such move.
Since switching to Turin, he has not hit the heights he did at Ajax when he looked a world beater at such a young age.
Signing for Juve presented obstacles for the 22-year-old in the form of experienced centre-back duo Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
A release clause has been quoted at over £100million, although it remains to be seen whether the Bianconeri would negotiate if he fails to kick on.
Of course, figures like that will not be an issue for Newcastle’s super-rich owners, but it would make a significant dent in the transfer kitty they are permitted under Financial Fair Play regulations.
Being linked with such targets is a sign of the times for the Toon Army, who are set to see major changes unfold over the coming weeks and months.
Not long to go now before January when a major squad re-shuffle is likely to get underway.
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