Newcastle will continue their search for the next manager as well as a Sporting Director this week. Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca held talks remotely last week. However, interviews with other candidates are expected to ramp up over the next few days.
Yesterday, a report claimed the board had narrowed their Sporting Director search to just three names – Ajax’s Marc Overmars, Liverpool’s Michael Edwards, and Luis Campos, formerly of PSG.
Once these key positions are filled, everyone’s focus can return to the pitch. The manager will be tasked with picking up results until the squad can be strengthened in January. Links to players will get even more abundant than they are currently.
After Wolves defender Conor Coady’s name popped on the radar yesterday, Football Insider is reporting that Newcastle will target Aston Villa defensive midfielder Marvelous Nakamba in the winter window. The 27-year-old was briefly linked with Newcastle before he moved to Aston Villa in the summer of 2019.
Nakamba struggled to get into the Villa team last season, at least in the starting eleven. That has carried over to the current campaign where he has just 1 Premier League start. The Zimbabwe international did make 29 Premier League appearances (19 starts) during his inaugural season at Villa Park.
While he’s struggled to usurp John McGinn and Douglas Luiz in the Villa midfield, Nakamba still has a key role with Aston Villa. He generally comes on in the second half to provide some energy.
One of the attributes Newcastle could be coveting is that he doesn’t waste possession. Nakamba consistently registers a pass completion percentage above 90%. He can also win the ball and is tenacious off the ball.
Football Insider says his fee would be around £15m and he fits the profile for January as a player with Premier League experience. He wouldn’t be a glamour signing but would fill a need in the midfield.
Whether Villa would be a willing seller is unclear. They brought him in from Club Brugge for just over £10m and he still has three years left on his contract. Though Newcastle could represent an opportunity for more playing time as well as an increase in wages.
It’s hard to gauge how accurate these links are at the moment especially without a permanent manager or Sporting Director on board. Nakamba is a strange target for wealthy Newcastle but as we said before, he would fill an immediate need.