Premier League transfer round-up: Everton make early signing as window re-opens
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Newcastle United might be able to sign Samuel Umtiti in the January transfer window after the Barcelona defender changed his stance on a move this month. Newcastle are keen to bring in reinforcements to stave off the threat of relegation from the Premier League and may turn their attention to Umtiti after being rejected by Sven Botman.
The Magpies are currently in 19th place, two points from safety, having won just one of their 19 matches in the league this season.
Eddie Howe’s side have kept one clean sheet and conceded a joint-high of 42 goals, prompting the club’s new owners to focus on defensive signings.
Kieran Trippier will be the first arrival of the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund-backed era after flying to Newcastle on Wednesday to complete a £12million transfer from Atletico Madrid.
Attention will now turn to central defence, where the Magpies are understood to be targeting two players.
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Newcastle have hit their first bump in the road in the January transfer window, with Lille rejecting a £30million bid for Netherlands Under-21 international Botman, according to The Telegraph.
Lille have reportedly declared that Botman is not for sale at any price this month amid interest from Newcastle and AC Milan.
That firm stance could lead the Toon to prioritise the signing of Umtiti from Barcelona instead.
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Spanish newspaper Sport says that the 28-year-old defender would be open to joining the Premier League side on loan until the end of the season, although the deal would not contain an option to make it permanent.
Umtiti has reportedly rejected five separate proposals to leave Barcelona, but has changed his tune due to his desire to earn a place in France’s squad for the 2022 World Cup.
Newcastle are willing to pay half of his whopping £220,000-per-week wages to recruit him for their relegation battle.
Barcelona signed Umtiti from Lyon in July 2016 and he has gone on to make 133 appearances for the club and helped to win two La Liga titles.
However, the French World Cup winner has only made 41 appearances over the past three seasons and has been frozen out by Xavi this season.
Umtiti wants some regular game time as he tries to win back his place in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the Qatar World Cup.
He is far from the only central defender linked with a move to Newcastle this month.
Burnley’s James Tarkowski, Sevilla’s Diego Carlos, Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo, Tottenham’s Joe Rodon and Arsenal’s Rob Holding are among the other names reportedly in the frame for Howe’s team.
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