Connect in the back of the net

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren is into his first pre-season as Magpies boss and has already said the club are close to “one or two” more signings following the recent acquisition of Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum.

Here are four realistic, potential signings that could significantly boost Newcastle’s chances in the English Premier League this season.

 

Charlie Austin (Striker, QPR)

After plundering 18 goals in the English Premier League last season despite his Queens Park Rangers side being relegated, by the end of the campaign Charlie Austin was on the cusp of making his England debut.

A £15 million fee is being demanded by QPR, with Leicester City having already had a £12 million approach rejected. Newcastle are expected to meet their valuation some time this week and have widely reported to be the club in pole position to sign Austin: betting on the move recently suspended by a number of outlets.

The player himself is said to be keen on relocating to the north-east of England, where his physical strength and uncompromising finishing would add another dimension to Newcastle’s attacking play.

His outstanding goal-scoring record over the past couple of seasons in England makes his acquisition a no-brainer.

 

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Striker, Anderlecht)

The 20 year-old is another striker who has been linked with Newcastle this summer and it was only recently that his family were given a guided tour of St. James’ Park, as the club courted the Serbia international.

A £12 million fee has been mooted in the press and at one point it seemed his acquisition would be a formality, only for the player’s father to intervene: it is believed Mitrovic is now holding out for interest from a club that can offer European football. Chelsea have been linked but it is unlikely Jose Mourinho risk signing a player who is not quite the finished article.

Mitrovic – like Austin – is a towering presence in the penalty area and brilliant in the air. A move to Newcastle would not only bolster United’s attacking stocks but also offer Mitrovic the chance to develop his game in England with regular football.

 

Florian Thauvin (Winger, Marseille)

The Magpies are long-term admirers of Thauvin’s considerable talents and at 22 years-old he fits perfectly into Newcastle United’s transfer policy: one that prioritizes buying young, talented players with a potentially high re-sale value.

Thauvin is not yet a France international but is considered one of the most exciting young players in Europe. His ability to beat players at pace is just the tonic for a Newcastle team desperately lacking in creativity last season.

Indeed, the relative struggles of Remy Cabella – who only joined last season – did nothing to offset the departures of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa and Cabella will now be used in a swap deal for Thauvin, according to reports.

 

Chancel Mbemba (Defender, Anderlecht)

The bizarre circumstances surrounding Chancel Mbemba’s registered date of birth might take on added significance, given the Newcastle board’s preference for acquiring younger players.

Nonetheless, his signing could be the surprise of the summer, and might come part of a double-swoop involving his club teammate Aleksandar Mitrovic. The asking price for DR Congo international Mbemba is around £8 million, though the player’s youth means Newcastle will have to invest time in developing the centre-back.

However, a paucity of options in that department – Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson struggled last season, while Steven Taylor’s discipline and fitness troubles are constant – mean that Newcastle manager Steve McClaren will be desperate to sign another central defender before the season starts.

 

Written by Chris Paraskevas

Follow Chris on Twitter @Cparaskevas

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