Newcastle transfer notebook: Late window final, signing that would rock Europe and team concern

Eddie Howe is confident Newcastle United’s ‘body of work’ in the January window will pay dividends before the deadline.

Newcastle will soon be down to single digits in terms of days with nine days since Chris Wood’s £25m arrival from Burnley.

Howe is believed to have back-up plans if he doesn’t land on other targets, but insists he still wants “a few more” new recruits.

After failing to sign a new face in time for the Leeds game, Howe said on the eve of the clash: “It’s a complex thing.

“Whenever you’re trying to sign players, it’s not as simple as pointing fingers and saying, ‘I do!’

“Every player wants to know every detail of the club he is going to and the city.

“There’s a lot of work going into it at different levels.

“Even then, you’re not guaranteed to have the player until the last minute.

“The body of work that we have put together is huge.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we’re really happy with the two we achieved.

“We think those are the two good ones, but we want to add a few more that will give us the rebound we need to tackle a crucial part of the season.”

Atalanta Forward Duvan Zapata (91) celebrates after scoring his goal to make it 0-1 during the Serie A n.14 football match JUVENTUS – ATALANTA on November 27, 2021 at Allianz Stadium in Turin, Piedmont, Italy. Final result: Juventus-Atalanta 0-1. (Photo by Matteo Bottanelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Duvan Zapata wants the biggest salary of his career to join Newcastle

The Colombian international striker has long been a target for Newcastle and has been tracked for several seasons with 105 Serie A goals to his name.

Such a signing should be box office-heavy for United with this deal as exciting as the arrival of Tino Asprilla in 1996.

Back then, the Colombia international came from Parma and courted the Gallowgate End.

Now Atalanta star Zapata would be celebrated if Newcastle could pull it off.

Bergamo club sources say Newcastle have asked if £37m will be enough this week.

Asked about his wage demands, Zapata wants a raise from €2m to €6.5m.

There’s no doubt these are huge numbers, but it would be a signing that would rock European football, no doubt about it.

Jeff Hendrick of Newcastle United celebrates Wolves goal
Jeff Hendrick of Newcastle United celebrates Wolves goal

The worry that could catch up with Newcastle and lead to late wicket swaps

Eddie Howe has yet to receive any tempting cash offers for any of his fringe players at Newcastle – despite the team now being oversubscribed.

This will need to be reduced for the second half of the season and the danger of highly paid non-playing squad members remains a threat.

Asked about the sales, Howe simply replied: “No, we haven’t had any offers for any of our players.”

Newcastle will be looking to reduce their goalkeeping quota at senior level this month after Steve Bruce recorded four saves last summer due to injury concerns.

Fred Woodman is likely to be loaned out and Newcastle have already recalled Jake Turner as cover for Colchester reserves.

But the danger of another situation like Henri Saivet or Jack Colback, who weren’t registered Premier League players but stayed on board while picking up big bucks, faces Newcastle if they don’t Warning.

Jeff Hendrick, Dwight Gayle and Emil Krafth are players who could be considered fringe players, but there’s no guarantee any of them will want to leave this winter as all three are based in the area.

Hendrick had just 10 minutes to impress Howe while Gayle was barely used.

Mary I. Bruner