‘I’d be absolutely shocked!’ - The verdict on the latest players linked with joining Newcastle United

The transfer speculation is never-ending on Tyneside. Here, NewcastleWorld editor Liam Kennedy and football writer Jordan Cronin provide their views on the latest players to be linked with a move to Newcastle United in the January transfer window.
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Marouane Fellaini - Shandong Luneng

LK: “Yeah. This one. Originating in the Belgian press, this one could rank as one of the most unlikely, and ill-suited, links to NUFC so far this window. On first viewing, without any checks, this one looks like a no.”

JC: “Had a little chuckle when I first saw this, mostly because I’d be absolutely shocked if it proved true! He’s 34-years-old and has sat on a nice wage package in China for two-and-a-half-years. I question why the player would want to return to the Premier League, never mind Newcastle’s reason for apparently wanting him.”

Sardar Azmoun - Zenit Saint Petersburg

LK: “The player is definitely of interest to Newcastle United, but is not thought to have been a priority heading into the transfer window. Prolific for Zenit in Russia and available for a low fee, he ticks boxes.”

JC: “A player who has recently popped up on Newcastle’s radar. His goalscoring record in Russia is impressive, which makes him an intriguing option, but it appears Lyon are the ones pushing hardest to sign the Iranian.”

Benoit Badiashile - Monaco

LK: “Fits the profile of player the Magpies are looking to recruit this window. But has an injury maybe put an end to the interest, given the immediacy of United’s need for a central defender? Only time will tell.”

JC: “Has been considered by Newcastle with their pursuit of Lille’s Sven Botman proving difficult. But as Liam mentioned, there are rumours Badiashile could be injured for as long as six weeks. United need a central defender at the first available opportunity.”

Steven Bergwijn - Tottenham Hotspur

LK: “Looks like Ajax heads the queue for the wideman. And again doesn’t seem like he’s a player they want as a priority, as talented as he is.”

JC: “Not a transfer I’d be against happening but his record at Premier League level with Tottenham is a little underwhelming. Naturally a winger, the Magpies are prioritising signing a striker and central defender.”

Jean-Philippe Mateta - Mainz 05 (on loan at Crystal Palace)

LK: “The links to this striker go back years and with frontman desperation the order of the day, there’s been bigger shocks should United again reignite interest. Has hardly done it at Crystal Palace this season, mind.”

JC: “Seems a bit of a complicated deal to do with Mateta already on loan at a Premier League club from Bundesliga outfit Mainz.”