The intriguing Newcastle United and AC Milan swap deal that could work a dream for both clubs

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Newcastle and AC Milan could boost their squads with an intriguing swap deal before the end of the January transfer window.

Every manager craves that spark of creativity on the pitch as they look to lead their club to success. But not every manager has a need to show creativity in the transfer market - but that is exactly where Eddie Howe and Newcastle United find themselves as they continue to battle with Financial Fair Play regulations that are hampering plans to continue an ambitious rebuild at St. James' Park.

Ever since the controversial Saudi-led takeover of the Magpies in October 2021, there has been an acceptance that FFP will have an impact on transfer plans. Yet few people external to the United hierarchy could have predicted just how restricted they would be as they look to build on what has already been a period of progression and improvement on Tyneside.

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Adding the likes of Alexander Isak, Bruno Guimarares, Anthony Gordon and Sven Botman to Howe's ranks has taken Newcastle from relegation candidates to Champions League qualifiers - but it has also pushed the club to within touching distance of their FFP limits and that has brought a need to consider alternative options in the transfer market.

There is an acceptance there may be a need to trade within the market and move on some big-name stars to allow for further new additions to come in and that is why suggestions the likes of Miguel Almiron, Kieran Trippier and Brazil star Guimaraes are attracting attention are not without foundation.

Taking their struggles with FFP into consideration, it would also be safe to assume Newcastle will prioritise loan signings throughout the final week of the window and will also consider moves for players that will be out of contract at the end of the season. Although there has been little suggestion of a swap deal taking place, recent interest in one Magpies star could present an opportunity to improve in one key area.

There have been conflicting reports over AC Milan's reported interest in United striker Callum Wilson over the last 24 hours after the Daily Mail's Craig Hope revealed the Serie A club were considering a move for the England frontman. As often happens during any transfer window, counter-claims were made hours later as denied such a could take place due to the form of Milan trio Luka Jovic, Noah Okafor and Olivier Giroud.

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The speculation over Wilson's future at St. James' Park comes at a crucial part of his time on Tyneside. Since making a £20m switch to Newcastle during the summer of 2020, the former Bournemouth marksman has scored 46 goals in 102 appearances in all competitions. Yet injuries have continued to hamper Wilson and he seems to have now fallen behind Alexander Isak as Eddie Howe's first-choice striker. Wilson will turn 32 next month and is now in the final 18 months of his current deal at Newcastle, meaning he could be one option considered to move on as the Magpies hierarchy look to freshen up their options across the pitch.

There is also a need to improve the depth of options available at the heart of their defence as speculation over Jamaal Lascelles' future continues to make the headlines. The Magpies club captain is out of contract at the end of the season and has been heavily linked with a move to Turkish club Besiktas. As it stands, the former Nottingham Forest star is United's only competition for first-choice centre-back duo Fabian Schar and Sven Botman - although the likes of Dan Burn, Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett have all been used at the heart of Howe's defence over the course of the last 18 months.

Of that supporting quartet, only Burn currently has a contract that goes beyond the upcoming summer, meaning Newcastle have some major calls to make at centre-back and that is why Milan's reported interest in Wilson could be used in their favour as they look to strengthen in a key area. Howe is widely reported to have a preference for Premier League experience when it comes to new additions and is also keen to bring in players that have a point to prove.

One current member of the Milan squad ticks both of those boxes after coming through the ranks at Chelsea as well as spending time on loan with the likes of Derby County and Hull City during the formative years of his career. There is also a point to prove after he struggled to force his way into Gareth Southgate's England squad, despite becoming a Serie A winner during his time in Milan and boasting significant Champions League experience in recent years.

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Although little is known of Fikayo Tomori's view on his future at the San Siro, there could be an argument to suggest the 26-year-old may need to return to the Premier League if he is to capture the attention of the England boss and secure a place in his squad for this summer's Euro 2024 Finals. Newcastle would face a significant battle to persuade their former Champions League group stage opponents to part company with a player that still has three years remaining on the contract he signed during the summer of 2022.

Frustratingly, a hamstring injury will keep Tomori on the sidelines until the middle of February and has put a temporary halt on what has been an impressive run in the Milan lineup. The former Chelsea man has started all 22 of the Champions League and Serie A fixtures where he has been available and has always been praised by key figures within the Rossoneri setup.

Even if they would consider allowing the England defender to depart, there seems little chance of Milan accepting a straight swap with Wilson and Newcastle would need to add some funds to sweeten the deal for the side that ended their hopes of Champions League progression with a dramatic win at St James Park last month.

As such, a swap deal involving Tomori and Wilson would be a genuine challenge for the Magpies to complete - but there is no doubt it would significantly strengthen there options in defence, even if a further addition would be needed to boost their frontline following Wilson's departure.

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