After an impressive campaign in the Premier League, that saw them finish in the 10th place in the league table, Newcastle United will now hope to climb up the points table but they will need some upgrades on the options in their first team, to make sure that they can compete with the best clubs next season. They have been linked with a host of stars this summer but one player they are no longer interested is Bristol City full-back Joe Bryan.
With just a year left on his contract, Bryan has been linked with an exit extensively this summer and City have slapped a price tag of £6m on his services. The Magpies are interested in him but are not ready to meet his valuation, leaving Rafa Benitez in the transfer market, in search of another left-back.
The financial restrictions at the club will mean that the Magpies cannot sign superstars in the game but they can always scout for talented players who can make a difference and here are three such stars they should target, in place of Bryan this summer:
Kieran Gibbs (West Brom):
The former Arsenal full-back was a regular at the Hawthorns but he went down with West Bromwich Albion last season. The Baggies are set to land Scunthorpe United left-back Conor Townsend and it is understood that they are open to selling Gibbs to any of his potential suitors. He is wanted in Italy but could jump at a chance to play in the Premier League again. At 28, he is experienced and established at the highest level and is a readymade solution to the left-back problems at St James’ Park.
Matt Targett (Southampton):
The 22-year old has spent five seasons with the senior side at St Mary’s but made just 27 league appearances, before joining Fulham on loan for the second half of the previous season. The Cottagers, who are now in the Premier League, were interested in signing him on a permanent deal but Southampton have rejected an offer of £10m for his services. However if Newcastle United are desperate, they could offer the youngster regular game time and bring him to Tyneside this summer.
Matteo Darmian (Manchester United):
The Italian international has struggled to make an impact on the first team under Jose Mourinho for over a year now and has recently asked the manager to sell him this summer. He is currently a crucial part of the United’s pre-season plans and is also attracting interest from Napoli. He is versatile, and at 28, is established at the highest level and could be a decent solution to Rafa’s problems.