Newcastles much-improved XI if Dusan Vlahovic and three other signings made in January

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Newcastle United have been linked with a surprise move for in-demand Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic ahead of the January transfer window. The Magpies are expected to emerge as one of the Premier League’s biggest spenders in the mid-season market following the completion of their lucrative Saudi-backed takeover back in October.

A number of big names have been mentioned in connection with Newcastle as a result of their newly-found riches, with Vlahovic said to be among the club’s priority targets, according to Calciomercato.

However, it remains to be seen whether the 21-year-old would even be willing to join Eddie Howe’s side, who are facing a battle to secure Premier League survival between now and the end of the campaign.

Express Sport takes a look at the Newcastle team that could line up over the second half of the season if Vlahovic is joined by three other new high-profile signings at St James’ Park next month.

Goalkeeper – Dubravka

It has recently been suggested that Newcastle could look to recruit a new man between the sticks in January, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen among those to have been linked in recent weeks.

However, the Magpies have more pressing issues to solve elsewhere on the pitch to ensure their top-flight status for another season.

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Martin Dubravka is likely to retain his place as the club’s first-choice stopper as a result, with Karl Darlow able to play a supporting role.

Defence – Trippier, Tarkowski, Lascelles, Lewis

Newcastle would reap the rewards of bringing in one or two defensive reinforcements next month after conceding 37 league goals since the beginning of the campaign.

It seems as though a move for Atletico Madrid defender Kieran Trippier could well be on the cards, with talks over a £25million deal already having reached an advanced stage, according to talkSPORT.

The England defender could also be joined at Newcastle by James Tarkowski, who has reportedly been admired by Howe since his time in charge of Bournemouth, with Jamaal Lascelles and Jamal Lewis completing the club’s back four.

Midfield – Shelvey, Sanches, Almiron

The Magpies would also be set to benefit from the addition of Renato Sanches, who is widely expected to leave Lille at the turn of the year.

The 24-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, but Newcastle have plenty of cash at their disposal and could make a real statement of intent by pipping the Gunners to his signature next month.

Sanches would offer some much-needed balance and an imposing physical presence in the middle of the park, with the Portuguese maestro able to emerge as a key man for Newcastle in their ongoing battle to stay in the Premier League this season.

He could line up on a first-choice basis alongside Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron as part of a solid midfield unit.

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Attack – Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Vlahovic

Newcastle already have a top-class forward within their ranks in Allan Saint-Maximin, while Callum Wilson has consistently proven his worth in the Premier League over the course of his career.

However, the signing of Vlahovic would undoubtedly take Howe’s side to new heights, with the Fiorentina man having scored 19 goals in all competitions since the beginning of the season.

The Serbia international is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most promising young forwards and boasts an impressive all-round game, potentially allowing him to excel in a two-up-top system alongside Wilson for the Magpies.

However, Fiorentina will not be looking to sell their prized asset on the cheap, while the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham have been tipped to rival Newcastle for Vlahovic’s signature at the turn of the year.

Possible Newcastle XI (4-1-2-1-2) – Dubravka; Trippier, Tarkowski, Lascelles, Lewis; Shelvey; Sanches, Almiron; Saint-Maximin; Wilson, Vlahovic.

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