Soon after Newcastle’s takeover was confirmed last Thursday links to sensational transfer targets began to emerge. Almost right out of the gate, Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho was again touted as one of the consortium’s preferred targets
The 29-year-old playmaker was heavily linked last year before the takeover’s seeming demise in July 2020. The abrupt completion of the sale last week has the former Liverpool midfielder back on the radar for a potential move in January.
The Brazilian is not the only Barcelona player linked with a winter move to Tyneside. The Sun is citing a report from Spanish outlet Sport that central defender Clement Lenglet has emerged as a January target as well. According to the report, Newcastle have asked about the Frenchman’s availability.
The 26-year-old has seen his playing time slashed at Camp Nou with just over 90 minutes of football played this season. The arrival of former Manchester City center-back Eric Garcia as a free agent has seen Lenglet drop down the pecking order. Garcia has become the preferred choice to partner with Spanish international Gerard Pique.
Even when the 20-year-old is unavailable, he’s had a straight red and double booking already this season, Ronald Araújo has been selected over Lenglet. The French international has become 4th choice after making 29 La Liga starts last season.
Lenglet joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2018 for £31.7m. He’s since made 137 appearances for the club while becoming a full French international (14 caps). Last October, he signed a new six-year contract to 2026 which has a £255m release clause.
While that may seem like a massive obstacle to the defender coming to St. James’ Park, Barcelona recently revealed they were in debt to the tune of £1.15bn. So they could be willing to work out a deal for a player who is currently wasting away on their bench.