Eddie Howe confirmed during his press conference this morning that Newcastle will not be adding another player this week. The hope was to add two players – a striker and a center-back – to be plugged into the squad for Watford.
The mission was partly accomplished with the signing of Chris Wood from Burnley. The 30-year-old adds plenty of experience and provides something different from Callum Wilson. Wood will fill the void while Wilson recovers from his calf injury.
The failure to add a defender this week was not from a want of trying. Newcastle have been working doggedly on multiple targets since the window opened. Thus far, the attempts for Sven Botman, Diego Carlos, and Benoit Badiashile have gone unrealized.
The pursuit of Botman has been the most frustrating. The 22-year-old was identified early as the preferred target to solidify Newcastle’s rickety backline. His club Lille have remained steadfast in their determination not to sell the young Dutchman.
Newcastle reportedly have moved on from Botman though a report in The Telegraph indicates there is still a remote chance he ends up on Tyneside before the window closes. Newcastle would have to offer £45.9m for negotiations to open back up.
The Magpies have not come close to that amount so it appears Botman will remain with Lille until the summer. If Newcastle survive this season, they will face plenty of competition for him from AC Milan and a couple of unnamed Premier League clubs.
Lille’s preference is to keep the defender for the rest of this campaign. Then a bidding war could ensue and theoretically, his price could remain very close to the £45.9m Lille have set for this window.
Newcastle’s pursuit for their other top target, Diego Carlos, is faring only marginally better. Sevilla have rejected Newcastle’s two offers, both believed to be below £30m. Though, Newcastle have not cooled on their desire of signing the 28-year-old just yet.
The Chronicle is reporting that the player’s representatives are encouraging Newcastle to continue their push for Carlos as they have been very impressed with their determination. However, Sevilla do not want to lose their star defender while engaged in a title race.
The report reveals that Carlos has an £80m release clause and that Sevilla would demand around £50m to consider letting him leave now. So for the moment, Newcastle are either going to have to pursue other targets or pay club-record fees for Carlos or Botman.