‘Leaning towards the North-East’ - Newcastle best-placed to sign highly-rated defender who wants to work with Eddie Howe

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Newcastle United are close to filling a key void in their squad, according to reports.

One of Newcastle United’s main transfer targets has stated his ambition to play in the North East next term and is particularly keen to work with manager Eddie Howe.

That’s according to reports from Mail Sport, who claim that Newcastle are best-placed to sign Fulham centre back Tosin Adarabioyo ahead of the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham, West Ham and AC Milan.

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Newcastle are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements. They will start next season without both Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles and are expected to allow Paul Dummett to leave on a free transfer when his contract expires in June.

The Magpies, despite scoring a record-breaking 78 goals, have often struggled to clean sheets and have leaked 56 goals - the highest of any team inside the top seven and 21 more than the previous season.

Signing a central defender will be integral to Newcastle’s chances of returning to the Champions League position, and Adarabioyo, who is likely to become a free agent in June, is thought to be a player that Howe admires.

Fulham boss Marco Silva admits that Adarabioyo is unlikely to remain at Craven Cottage beyond the summer. 

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He said: “Tosin has to be clear about his future when he decides to be clear about his future, and he has to talk about it. Of course we are here to try to prepare as best we can the future of the football club.

“We haven’t hidden that situation that we try to renew with him, not just him but other players near the end of their contracts and it’s not been easy. Probably his future is not going to be at the club anymore.”

This leaves the Magpies primed and ready to sign the central defender who could fill a huge void in the team without costing a penny in transfer fees.

Who is Tosin Adarabioyo?

Tosini Adarabioyo is a Manchester City academy graduate, who represented England at U16,U17,U18 and U19 level.

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He was described as being "fast, strong in the air and [possessing] the quality to look forward behind the line for the next pass" by his former Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

The Spainard gave Adarabioyo opportunities to shine for Manchester City in the Champions League and League Cup, but he failed to make a single Premier League appearance for the Citizens.

He enjoyed successful loan spells at West Brom and Blackburn in the Championship before completing a permanent move to Fulham in 2020.

Adarabioyo has been a key figure for Fulham since making the move in 2020. He suffered relegation in his first season in West London, but excelled the following season as the team steamrolled their way to the Championship title - earning a place in the team of the season in the process.

The 26-year-old has remained an ever present since winning promotion and has helped Fulham to two mid table finishes. 

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