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Squad Overhaul Planned In January As English Defender Named Top Target

On Friday, it was revealed that Newcastle’s new board would target players with Premier League experience entering the final years of their contracts. Their plan was to supplement these more economical signings with a few marquee names.

The list of targets has been plentiful over the past 48 hours with a handful of stars touted as being the new regime’s first big signing in January. We’ve already had Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly cited as top winter targets.

The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has pinpointed Burnley center-back James Tarkowski as the likely choice to become one of the first players to spark Newcastle’s revolution. The 28-year-old certainly meets the criteria with 166 Premier League matches under his belt while in the final year of his contract.

Edwards reports that Tarkowski is very keen on the move. While Burnley boss Sean Dyche would love to keep his star defender at Turf Moor, he can do little to stand in his way as they could risk losing him for nothing next summer.

Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard is also of interest to Newcastle. Like Tarkowski, the 28-year-old’s contract ends next summer. However, his interest in coming to the North East is uncertain.

Lingard recently rejected a new deal at Old Trafford and has only had only one start this season, which was in the Carabao Cup defeat against West Ham. He spent the second half of last season on loan with The Hammers where he scored 9 goals and provided 5 assists.

Edwards also reports that the new owners believe every area of the pitch needs new blood. He says in addition to Tarkowski, a full-back, center-forward, central midfielder, and a winger could be targeted in January. That would, of course, mean a lot of the current squad would need to be moved out.

This winter we could see a grander version of 2013 when Newcastle added Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara, and Kevin Mbabu to the ranks.

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