Newcastle want two centre-backs in January window but face £25m fee to sign top target

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Newcastle will attempt to plug their leaky defence by targeting two new centre-backs in the January transfer window, according to reports. The Magpies have already conceded a staggering 42 goals in just 19 Premier League matches this season, leaving boss Eddie Howe looking to improve his defensive options. 

Howe’s side have let in four goals in their last four matches, including two 4-0 thrashings by Manchester City and Leicester.  

There was plenty of promise in Monday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.  

Newcastle deserved to beat the Red Devils but Allan Saint-Maximin’s first-half stunner was cancelled out by Edinson Cavani. 

Howe and the club’s new Saudi-backed owners will make changes during the January transfer window and want to strengthen their backline as they bid to avoid the drop.

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The Newcastle boss, who replaced Steve Bruce in November, is understood to want two fresh centre-back options next month.  

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, one of those is the Lille defender Sven Botman.  

The Dutchman has earned a reputation as one of the most highly-rated defenders in European football. 

Last January, Botman was linked with Liverpool during the Reds’ well-documented injury crisis. 

However, a move failed to materialise. Liverpool ended up signing Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies instead, both of whom have since left the club.

Newcastle have also learned how much a potential transfer for Botman might cost.  

Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb claim that £25million will need to be spent to prise the 21-year-old away from the French side. 

But he is unlikely to be the only arrival at St. James’ Park if he joins in January. Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League and reinforcements are required all over the pitch.  

They are in the unique position of being able to potentially buy their way out of trouble after a consortium 80 per-cent backed by the Saudi Public Investment fund completed a £305million takeover in October. 

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One of the potential signings might be a new striker after Howe revealed that top scorer Callum Wilson could miss “weeks, maybe months” after suffering an injury against Man Utd.   

Saint-Maximin was also withdrawn with a knock but that is apparently not a major problem for the winger.  

“Callum’s injury looks severe, weeks maybe months,” Howe said.

“I feared for him when he went down with nobody around him. A pull. Allan, I don’t think is as serious. 

“We are thin on the ground in terms of bodies.”
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