Three intriguing players Newcastle might sign this January - and four they clearly won't

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A look at some of the transfer rumours surrounding Newcastle United and who they might sign in January - and who they'll miss out on.

Of all the clubs who have the potential to be busy in the January transfer window, Newcastle United’s movements are perhaps the hardest to predict. On the one hand, they have a strong squad with no glaring weaknesses – on the other, a string of injuries has left them looking exhausted and threadbare. Back on the first hand, the club claim to be operating under stringent FFP restrictions, but equally there are reports that they are understating their spending power to aid negotiations.

Then there are the rumours that Eddie Howe’s position is under consideration. This is a transfer window that could go in any number of directions – but to help make sense of it, we’ve run the rule over half a dozen of the rumours which have been floating around to see which make sense, which seem most likely to happen, and which simply aren’t on the menu for the Magpies.

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Could sign – Kalvin Phillips

There are a few sides interested in reviving the Manchester City midfielder’s Premier League career, and Newcastle seem to be the best placed to sign him, likely on an initial loan deal which is expected to set the club back around £7.5m up front – an option to buy would likely be included.

He may have struggled badly for game time under Pep Guardiola, but if Newcastle can sign the energetic and dynamic box-to-box midfielder that shone for Leeds United not so very long ago, then that will be a great bit of business. The more recent version of Phillips might not be so appealing, but at least an initial loan deal would take some of the risk out of the transfer. Phillips seems certain to move this winter with his place in the England squad for Euro 2024 at the forefront of his mind, and while Newcastle won’t be the only bidders, they have the right combination of clout, money and playing style to be favourites.

Won’t sign – Serhou Guirassy

The social media post suggesting that VfB Stuttgart striker had agreed personal terms with Newcastle which got a lot of fans in a tizz should not be trusted for a moment, and is a testament to the pointlessness of the blue tick these days – Newcastle are indeed monitoring the Guinean striker, who has bagged 17 goals already in the Bundesliga, but they are one of many and the odds remain against him rocking up at St. James’ Park.

His release clause of just €17.5m (£15.1m) means that there won’t be a bidding war as far as the transfer fee is concerned but many of his other suitors – including Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – need a striker far more urgently and are likely to pay top dollar on the contract when the time comes. The fact that he is heading off to play in the Africa Cup of Nations, and therefore won’t cover any short-term needs while Callum Wilson works his way back to full fitness, makes this deal even less likely. Not impossible, but not likely either, and certainly not as far along as some people online would have you believe.

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Could sign – Ben Godfrey

The rugged but not especially technical defender has apparently been the subject of interest from both Newcastle and Spurs in recent weeks, and while those reports may seem a little left-field, they do make a degree of sense. Godfrey can cover both centre-back and right-back and recent injuries have hinted that Eddie Howe needs an extra body in the back line quite badly, and Godfrey would be relatively affordable, with an alleged asking price of £9m.

Of course, there is also a reason that he can’t get in the Everton squad. The 25-year-old has played just 91 minutes of Premier League football since the summer and is somewhat limited – a good defender with decent numbers for tackles, interceptions and so on, but without the kind of technical qualities that many clubs prize. Given that Howe tends to keep things pretty simple at the back, however, he could be a good fit as a squad player, and Godfrey himself would jump at the chance to get out of Goodison Park. One that will probably simmer until the end of the window with the club taking stock then, but this could very definitely move forward.

Won’t sign – Lloyd Kelly

Every now and again, transfer rumours start swirling around a player and the humble journalist is left scratching his head trying to figure out why – and this is the case with Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly, who has been linked with Newcastle and Spurs but also with Juventus and AC Milan, with reported fees of anything up to £40m, depending on which reports you choose to believe.

The blunt fact is that Kelly, although a very competent player, is neither remarkably impressive technically nor especially physically gifted, and his underlying numbers are below mediocre for everything from defensive contributions to passing and running with the ball. Still, some very big clubs clearly think he’s worth something, which is probably just evidence that they know something we don’t. Regardless of all that, this will have to wait until summer – Bournemouth have pulled down the shutters on the shop window already and are sending very clear signals that none of their most important players will be going anywhere. They don’t need the money and aren’t safe from relegation, so Kelly will likely have to wait until the summer to get both his dream move and the chance to prove us wrong.

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Could sign – Crysencio Summerville

Leeds United have also made it clear that they don’t want to sell winger Summerville, who has been in superb form of late and has 12 goals in 24 games so far this season, but their resolve could easily be tested by a substantial bid, and they’re certainly more liable to be strongarmed into selling that a Premier League side like Bournemouth.

Reports suggest that Leeds turned down a £20m bid from Burnley back in the summer, so he won’t come cheap and if the club’s claims of a limited budget turn out to be true then you can likely scratch this one from the list – but Newcastle do need depth in the wide areas and the 22-year-old’s combination of skill, pace, goals and potential seem to fit the bill pretty nicely. We’d say the odds are below fifty-fifty, but it’s still very plausible.

Won’t sign – David de Gea or Aaron Ramsdale

A bit of a two-for-one on the goalkeeper front, here. Nick Pope is still out until April and there is some debate as to whether Martin Dúbravka is good enough to see Newcastle through until then, but a superb performance against Liverpool on Monday has very much strengthened his case. Still, that won’t stop Newcastle debating adding a new goalkeeper, but it almost certainly won’t be Ramsdale and looks increasingly unlikely to be De Gea, either.

Arsenal have made it pretty clear that they’ll only sell their second choice stopper for top dollar, probably around £40m, and that will likely price Newcastle out, especially when they still see Pope as a perfectly good long-term number one. That deal just doesn’t make much sense unless they can twist Arsenal’s arm and turn it into a loan – so unless the Gunners find themselves desperately needing some extra FFP room later in the window, we think this one will remain very unlikely indeed.

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There had also been lots of links with free agent and former United ‘keeper De Gea, but that seems to have cooled off in recent weeks. If this was going to happen, the odds are that a deal would already be close – and the deafening silence suggests that Newcastle have decided to look elsewhere. It’s possible that this gets resurrected down the line, but the links suggesting that there is now interest in 26-year-old Monza goalkeeper Michele di Gregorio may explain why the De Gea move has gone cold. It’s not clear whether the club stick with Dúbravka or take a punt on someone else, but these two deals look further away than ever – although we wouldn’t be completely stunned if the Spaniard comes back into the equation at some stage.

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