Newcastle need to bring in a center-back in January, and these are five of the players we have so far been linked with.
James Tomkins – West Ham
Before we start it seems that Newcastle are not interested in Chelsea’s Alex or Blackburn’s Chris Samba.
Alex wants to stay in London and is said to be a target of QPR, but at £3M he would be a bargain, and we ‘re not exactly sure why we don’t want to go after Samba.
But maybe it’s his wage demands which would be around £60K/week that is the problem, but there again at around £6M the very experienced and powerful Chris Samba would be a bargain for some club.
Here are the center-backs we have been linked with this January starting with the player shown above – 22 year-old James Tomkins of West Ham.
Newcastle put in an improved bid only last week for the West Ham center-back, but the £4M offer was turned down.
It will take a bigger offer than that for West to allow their 22 year-old defender to leave the club in January, because West Ham want to be promoted back to the Premier League in May.
And they will hardly want to lose their best players half way through the season, and the West Ham co-owner David Gold today said the lad was not for sale last week:
”We want to keep James Tomkins, we really do want to keep him. I think it is fair to say he is not for sale.”
We think it would be difficult for Newcastle to get this player in January.
James has played 103 times for West Ham with 3 goals and he has made 10 appearances for the England U21 side.
Jan Vertonghen – Ajax
It seems that Newcastle’s top target is Vertonghen, a 24-year-old 6’3″ Belgium international, who is at Ajax, and it’s believed Chief Scout Graham Carr is a big admirer of the player, but the Belgium will not come cheap.
Both Arsenal and Tottenham are also interested, but it seems the fee may have already put Newcastle off, and it could take as much as £10M to secure his transfer.
Jan joined Ajax back in 2003 as a 16 year-old from Belgium club Germinal Beerschot, and has played 201 times for the Dutch giants with 23 goals, and he has played 35 times with two goals for Belgium.
Yanga Mbiwa – Montpellier
Montpellier are second top of the French League after 19 games played, and have 37 points and are just 3 points behind leaders PSG.
Yanga-Mbiwa was born in Bangui, Central African Republic in 1989, and he is now a naturalized citizen of France, and that makes him eligible to represent France at International level.
The youngster is already captain of Montpellier at just 22, and he can play anywhere along the back line, and is keen to play in England, and said this back in late November:
“People live for football in England, and that is what I want to experience,” “I’ll see what offers I get, but English football is incredible.”
“There is more physical contact than in France, but I like that – it suits my style of play.”
We think Yanga-Mbia would be a good buy for Newcastle at around £5M, and his flexibility could also be a benefit to Newcastle.
Harry Maguire – Sheffield United
Born and bred in Sheffield, the local lad is just 18 years-old and has so far played 28 times with one goal for the Blades this season, and in total has made 32 appearances.
Newcastle manager Pardew has been monitoring the powerful center-back’s form since the start of the season, and the youngster has been simply outstanding for the Blades.
Harry was the star performer for Sheffield in their fantastic run to the FA Youth Cup final just last season, which was the Blades first FA Youth Final they had reached in 59 years.
The Blades lost the two legged final 6-3 to Manchester United last May, after drawing the first game 2-2 at Bramall Lane.
Maguire has been an ever-present this season for the Sheffield first team and last October, in order to protect themselves more than anything else, Sheffield signed the lad to a new four year contract through 2015.
Maguire could cost as much as £3M in the transfer window, but he has great potential.
Lewis Dunk – Brighton
Lewis has played 23 times for Brighton this season, and made his debut back in May of 2010, starring in the 0–0 draw at Milton Keynes Dons, and he can also play in midfield as well as at center-back.
The player has already attracted the interest of top clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool, in addition to Newcastle.
Lewis received his first call-up to the England under-21 squad in November of last year, for the European Championship qualifiers against Iceland and Belgium.
The player was born and bred in Brighton, and is a tough tackling no nonsense center-back, but in his 23 appearances this season he has already picked up 11 yellow cards.
We’re not sure how much he would cost Newcastle but it would probably be around £2M or less.
Finally, Alan Pardew is said to have about £8M to spend in the transfer market in January, so if he could bring in Mevlut Erding from PSG for £5M, and young Harry Maguire from Sheffield United for £3M we would be happy enough.
Yanga Mbiwa would also be a good buy at around £4M if we could get him for that.
What do you think?