Newcastle United are making plans for a triple raid on Serie A to sign two players from Inter Milan and one from Lazio, according to a report.
It will be an interesting January at St James’ Park after the Saudi-backed takeover of the club. Newcastle can now dream about making expensive signings. Ambitions may be curtailed while still in a relegation battle, but they may still have a chance of luring some top talent.
According to a new report from The Times, there are three players on their radar from Italy. Namely, they are looking at Inter duo Stefan De Vrij and Marcelo Brozovic, plus Lazio keeper Thomas Strakosha.
Targeting two players from a reigning champion shows the ambition Newcastle now have. De Vrij and Brozovic both played important roles in Inter’s title success last season.
However, both have been the subject of transfer speculation recently. Centre-back De Vrij is reportedly a target for Tottenham Hotspur.
Such a move would reunite him with ex-Inter coach Antonio Conte. However, Newcastle now seem ready to offer him an alternative route into the Premier League.
Their pursuit will be an interesting measure of their ability to compete for targets of De Vrij’s level, especially with rival competition.
But if they can get him, he would be a major help in addressing some of their problems. Newcastle have conceded too many goals so far this season; only Norwich have shipped more in the Premier League.
De Vrij has excelled in a back three for Inter and should have the adaptability to be a success in the Premier League. It remains to be seen if Newcastle can convince him.
Their interest in his teammate Brozovic, meanwhile, has already been documented. The Croatia international is out of contract at the end of the season.
As such, he is being linked with the next step in his career after a solid stint at San Siro. Newcastle have been battling the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and again Tottenham for his signature.
Brozovic also has plenty of suitors on the continent. But Newcastle are ready to make their move to try and persuade him.
In both Inter cases, though, it seems unlikely they would be able to get their agreements in their current state.
Strakosha most realistic Newcastle target?
Finally, they are looking towards Lazio to rectify a perceived issue with their goalkeeping hierarchy. Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow are both decent options, but there is a feeling they can find an upgrade as an out-and-out number one.
There have been links with Dean Henderson of Manchester United. However, there are doubts about the formula of the transfer.
It may be easier to focus on Strakosha. He has lost his place as Lazio’s number one to veteran ex-Liverpool shot-stopper Pepe Reina.
With a contract running out at the end of the season, like Brozovic, it may be time for Strakosha to move on. Newcastle would be able to restore him to a role of being a first-choice keeper, which would be ideal for the 26-year-old.
Strakosha has made 181 appearances for Lazio across his career. He has kept 53 clean sheets in that time, but has come into question when called upon recently.
A change of scenery may give him a fresh start and he may be a realistic option for Newcastle to consider.
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