The Newcastle squad and coaching staff will jet off to Saudi Arabia for some warm weather training this week. Most of the recruitment staff will remain behind to work on completing deals with the winter window winding down.
There appears to be a number of deals in progress, though currently, nothing is close according to Eddie Howe’s transfer update after yesterday’s win. This will be a pivotal week to strengthen the squad for this season’s remaining 17 fixtures.
Progress has been stagnant since Chris Wood came through the door 10 days ago. Newcastle haven’t given up hope on landing their preferred targets who include Diego Carlos, Jesse Lingard, and Duvan Zapata.
90min is reporting that Diego Carlos’s representatives, Bertolucci Sports, are trying to convince Sevilla to reach an agreement with Newcastle. The Rio-based group has flown into Seville to speak to the Director of Football Monchi.
However, the former-Sevilla goalkeeper is not expected to soften his stance and could demand as much as £60m to allow the 28-year-old to leave midseason. Newcastle will need to consider other targets if there is no movement on this deal in the next few days.
The Sun has added yet another center-back to Newcastle’s expansive list. They are reporting that Newcastle may turn to Olympiacos giant Pape Abou Cisse, who stands 6’6″. The 26-year-old has been linked with Arsenal, Leicester, Liverpool, and Everton in the recent past.
Cisse is currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal. Newcastle have opened talks with the player’s representatives over a potential £12m move. Olympiacos, for who Cisse has over 100 appearances, appear very willing to do business.
Cisse has been with Olympiacos since 2017, joining from Corsica’s Ajaccio in 2017. He made 74 appearances for the Ligue 2 club. Interestingly, he returned to France on loan with Saint-Etienne last January. The Ligue 1 club did not take up their £11m purchase.
As his height would attest, Cisse is amazing in the air and considered a very intelligent defender. While not blessed with an abundance of technical ability on the ball, he is a formidable force at the back.
Cisse is likely not at the top of the list though could become an option late in the window should moves for other targets falter. He would cost a fraction of some of the other targets despite still having a few years left on his contract.