We were linked with two good center-backs last week and quite honestly either one of them would be good for Newcastle.
One was Lamine Kone of Lorient who has been one of the best center-backs in France for a couple of years now and one was Joel Matip of Schalke, who we were supposed to have bid £10M for last summer.
Kone is 26 and turns 27 in February whereas Joel is 24 and turns 25 in August.
Lamine Kone – 26 year-old Lorient central defender
Both center-backs are good strong physical players who seem to be good acquisitions for Newcastle next month.
Kone is maybe slightly old for the usual player Newcastle tend to bring in and maybe he would take some time to adjust to the English way of playing football, but the Paris-born player is well equipped to handle the rigors of English football.
Lamine has made 16 appearances for Lorient this season and joined them in 2010 from Chateauroux and in total he has played 135 times with 7 goals for Lorient and he picked up his first cap for the Ivory Coast last year.
Lamine is fast, strong and very athletic and would be well suited to the Premier League and would cost around £5M and that looks good value for money.
Joel Matip – 24 year-old Schalke center-back
The news last week is that Liverpool want to sign Joel Matip on a pre-contract agreement so he signs for them in the summer when he becomes a free agent and his Schalke contract runs out.
There’s still even a small chance he would stay at Schalke and sign a new deal with them.
Newcastle could bid around £5M for him in January and maybe Schalke would accept that for their 6’4″ center-back who has played 16 times for Cameroon.
Whether he moves in January or in the summer, Schalke will get something for him because he’s been at the club for the last 15 years, so even as a free agent his German club would get some compensation for him.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be very familiar with the player having been at Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga for seven years.
The 24 year-old has played 26 times for Cameroon and 236 times for Schalke with 22 goals and 12 assists – the only club he has ever played for.
It would appear these are two top targets for Newcastle for next month and as we said for around £5M either center-back would be a very good buy for Newcastle.
What do you think?