Newcastle’s new owners have bigger financial muscles than the other Premier League clubs combined. Now the Saudis are on a game hunt with money from the kingdom.
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The first player to be brought to St. James’ Park will be the English national team defender Kieran Trippier. The 31-year-old won the Spanish series with Atlético Madrid last season, but is now just details away from being ready for Newcastle. On Wednesday, Trippier was pictured by the local newspaper The Evening Chronicle when he landed at the city airport. According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the clubs have agreed a deal worth around 12 million pounds.
Now the money for Saudi Arabia will have even more legs to walk on in Newcastle. In October, the Kingdom’s public investment fund (PIF) secured 80 per cent of the shares in Newcastle United in an acquisition worth around NOK 3.4 billion. The fund’s chairman of the fund is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (36) and is run by Yasir Al-Rumayyan (51). The latter has also been appointed club director in Newcastle.
The remaining 20 percent of the ownership in the 129-year-old club is divided between the businesswoman Amanda Staveley and the British billionaire brothers Simon and David Reuben. Saudi Arabia’s investment fund alone is estimated to have values of almost 4 trillion kroner, making Newcastle the world’s richest club.
– They have already won the battle to sign Kieran Trippier from Atlético Madrid. They would also love to sign midfielder Sven Botman from Lille, but they are struggling to persuade him to be part of a match to survive in the Premier League, says Lee Ryder to VG.
The Evening Chronicle journalist is perhaps the most famous Newcastle reporter on Ball Island.
– This will be Newcastle’s most exciting transfer window in years, Ryder states.
In addition to Trippier, a handful of star players are linked to possible Newcastle transfers during January by various international media. These are some of them.
Eden Hazard (30), Real Madrid
The Belgian was brought to the Spanish capital as one of the football world’s biggest attractions after a fantastic career at Chelsea. Since 2019, Hazard has only scored five times for Real Madrid and has not come close to meeting expectations. Now it’s instead Brazilian Vinicius jr. (21) who appears on the left wing of Real Madrid. Next stop for Hazard may become Newcastle, in what would have been a sensational transition.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (32), Arsenal
He has scored 68 goals in 128 Premier League matches since joining Arsenal in 2017, but now the Gabonese have lost the captaincy and confidence of manager Mikel Arteta. The salary will be at a sky-high 350,000 pounds a week. One of the questions is whether Newcastle will match that sum and try to bring the striker to Tyneside. A loan has been mentioned in the English media as an option.
Philippe Coutinho (29), Barcelona
The Brazilian has struggled since leaving Liverpool as a superstar in 2018. A loan to Bayern Munich and a disappointing comeback in Barcelona later, Coutinho has now asked to leave the Catalans once and for all. Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal should all be interested in the offensive midfielder. The contract with Barcelona expires next summer.
Samuel Umtiti (28), Barcelona
The French stopper started all matches except the last in the group stage when France won the World Cup in 2018, but since then Umtiti has experienced a downward trend in his career. Barcelona have long wanted to get rid of the 28-year-old, but Umtiti will last summer have rejected several offers from other clubs. The contract lasts until next summer.
Sven Botman (21), Lille
According to The Telegraph Newcastle have received a bid of 30 million pounds rejected from French Lille for the Dutch U21 national team stopper. Botman was on the field in all but one of the league matches when Lille won Ligue 1 ahead of Paris Saint-Germain last season. He will initially play the quarter-finals of the Champions League for Lille against Chelsea in February – if Newcastle should not succeed in hijacking him. The contract with Lille lasts until the summer of 2025.
Aaron Ramsey (31), Juventus
The Welshman went free from Arsenal to Juventus when the contract expired in 2019. This contributed to Ramsey getting a weekly salary of an insane 400,000 pounds. After Massimiliano Allegri again took over the coaching job at Juventus, the midfielder will be allowed to leave the Italians for free even if the contract lasts until next summer. According to English media, both Newcastle and Everton should be interested in the 31-year-old.
James Tarkowski (29), Burnley
The Burnley captain made a mistake in the 1-2 loss to Leeds last weekend, but usually the English stopper is rock solid. Newcastle are said to have looked at the possibility of bringing the Manchester-born man to the north-east of England in January. The contract with Burnley expires this summer and he is said to have refused to extend the contract with the club. According to the English journalist Luke Edwards, Tarkowski wants to go to Newcastle.
Lucas Digne (28), Everton
The relationship between Everton manager Rafael Benitez and the French left-back is apparently icy cold. Having previously worn the captain’s armband at Everton, the 28-year-old is not even in the squad for the blue jerseys at the moment. Several clubs, including Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, are linked to Digne’s name. The same goes for Newcastle. However, he has a contract with Everton until the summer of 2025.
Luis Diaz (24), Porto
The Colombian striker is ravaging the Portuguese league. Liverpool are among the clubs mentioned among his suitors. Newcastle will also be interested in the 24-year-old. It has previously been claimed that Diaz has a £ 68 million buy-out clause that Newcastle can trigger as early as January, but will the star shot go to the club which is currently second to last in the Premier League?
Luka Jovic (24), Real Madrid
The Serb was a star for Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2018/2019 season, which meant that Real Madrid brought him to Spain. It has been an unsuccessful transition for both parties. Last season, the Serb was back in Frankfurt on loan. Four goals in 18 games in the Bundesliga were not impressive, but Jovic has qualities and a profile Newcastle should have shown interest in.
Newcastle United owners Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi recently confirmed that the club is working to bring reinforcements to the North East of England.
– We have important matches and a January window that we have worked tirelessly to prepare for. Let’s meet the challenges and look forward to the second half of the season with optimism, is the message to the supporters.