Newcastle could ruin Liverpool transfer hopes as Saudi owners eye settle on first target

Newcastle fans 'paying tribute' to Saudi owners says reporter

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Newcastle’s owners are expected to splash the cash in January and they’ve reportedly settled on who they want as their first marquee signing. The Magpies are in the midst of drastic change at St James’ Park with the club yet to find a permanent replacement for Steve Bruce.

Graeme Jones will continue in temporary charge this weekend against Chelsea, but a new appointment is likely to come in at the start of next month.

Lucien Favre and Paolo Fonseca have been touted as the favourites with talks being held with both.

Frank Lampard’s name has also been mentioned, along with Steven Gerrard, with Newcastle yet to make a final decision.

But the new owners have already decided on who they want to be their first signing in the January transfer window.

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According to the Daily Mail, Watford’s Ismaila Sarr is the player Newcastle are keen to sign in the New Year.

It is said that Sarr has been ‘prominent in their thinking’ for some time, suggesting the Public Investment Fund’s interest in the Senegal international pre-dates when they officially bought out Mike Ashley earlier this month.

Sarr has earned high praise for his performances in a struggling Watford side, with four goals already in the Premier League.

Newcastle are fully aware of Sarr’s talents as the 23-year-old recently scored the equaliser for Watford against the Magpies.

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But the report adds that Watford are likely to push back on any transfer interest in Sarr as the winger is deemed vital to their own survival hopes.

Newcastle’s new-found riches may well test Watford’s resolve though as they reportedly deem Sarr in the same bracket as Jack Grealish.

Their interest in signing Sarr may also come as a huge blow to Liverpool, who have long been linked with a move.

He was touted as a target for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the summer, but the Reds were seemingly reluctant to stump up the cash needed to make a deal happen.

Changes are expected at Anfield next summer, particularly with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all out of contract in 2023.

Salah appears to be the priority for Liverpool in trying to tie him down to a new deal.

But reports have indicated that signing all three stars to new lucrative contracts is unlikely, suggesting one of Mane or Firmino could be sold.

Sarr fits the mold of the type of player Liverpool look to sign in the transfer market, but Newcastle’s interest may well force them to look elsewhere.

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