Amid the takeover talks along with the uncertainty over Rafael Benitez’s future at St James’ Park, Newcastle United are looking to bolster their squad this summer to avoid a relegation battle. Despite the Spaniard’s influence, the Magpies lack the necessary quality to achieve an elite status like the good old days. Yet a turnaround of fortune might happen soon if Mike Ashley opts to sell the club in the upcoming weeks.
They, meanwhile, have been linked to an array of individuals so far this window and Nemanja Gudelj of Guangzhou Evergrande is the latest name in Newcastle’s radar following a promising loan stint with Sporting CP, according to Portuguese outlet O Jogo. The 27-year-old Serbian has been instrumental in the middle of the park and played a pivotal role in Sporting’s Taça da Liga and Taça de Portugal triumphs defeating Porto in the shootout on both occasions.
The Magpies, however, are not the only outfit monitoring his status. Real Betis, as well as the Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, are also keen on the midfield ace whose contract in Guangdong runs down in December.
He was allowed to depart last summer due to the limitation on the number of foreign players in the Chinese Super League and a move to Portugal worked out stupendously allowing him a glorious opportunity to re-establish his career in Europe.
Gudelj, so far, has earned 22 senior caps for his nation having progressed through the ranks of NAC Breda before moving to AZ Alkmaar and Ajax in Eredivisie. He is regarded for his physique, destructive display, aerial supremacy as well as strong tackling traits. The player is an expert in orchestrating attacking transitions from a deep-lying role banking on his vision and distribution attributes.
Mo Diame is set for an exit this month upon expiration of his contract at Tyneside. Promising academy prospect Sean Longstaff is closing in on a move to Manchester United whereas Jonjo Shelvey, Ki Sung-yueng and Isaac Hayden have been highly inconsistent barring a few fixtures. The Serbia international would strengthen the Toon in their quest to dominate the midfield game – something they lacked last season, giving away possession far too easily while being pressed.
Although it is still unclear whether Benitez would pen a new deal with less than two weeks remaining in his current contract, the club must keep on adding reinforcements and close the gap with league’s ‘Big Six’ having fallen far too behind over the past decade.
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