With Newcastle reportedly looking to add both a central midfielder and a forward in January, they would have to move on two members of their squad to make room for those additions.
Currently, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen are the hot names on the Newcastle transfer front. Whether that remains the case in six weeks’ time is anyone’s guess.
With Newcastle having so many players on expiring contracts, they will have a lot of flexibility this summer to make some additions. Rob Elliot, Javier Manquillo, and Ki Sung-yueng seem destined to run down their deals and leave this summer.
There are still question marks on Karl Darlow and Federico Fernandez, but without new deals, they will face the same fate as the other three.
That could leave as many as five open places for incoming transfers this summer. While that will allow for some flexibility in that window, they have very little in the winter window without moving some of their current players.
We suppose they could always bring in new blood and then not register some of the fringe players like Manquillo or Ki. However, it would be more prudent to try and offload as many players as they can this winter.
One player that Newcastle may be able to cash in on is striker Yoshinori Muto. The Chronicle are reporting that the 27-year-old is unsettled due to his lack of game time.
Muto has played just 100 minutes over five appearances in the Premier League this season. He has not played in the last five games and not been in the squad for four of those matches.
If the reports that Muto is looking to leave are accurate, then Newcastle may be able to recoup some of the £8m they paid for him in 2018.
Another player who could quickly become unsettled is Dwight Gayle. Despite replacing Muto on the bench over the past month, Gayle has barely featured for Newcastle playing just over 5 minutes since his return from a calf injury.
We could see Steve Bruce sanctioning a move for either Gayle or Muto, but not both. That is unless, of course, Newcastle can get decent fees for both players to reinvest in a better striker. However, January is a tough month to secure a proven goalscorer.
Whatever Newcastle do in January, they cannot afford to be completely idle. There are decisions to be made about this squad, and a plan needs to be put into action so this summer can be as smooth as possible.