What Eddie Howe has already said about top target as Fabrizio Romano makes ‘really advanced’ claim

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Fabrizio Romano expects the deal to advance ‘really fast’

Newcastle United are aiming to get ahead of the curve when it comes to transfer business this summer with Fabrizio Romano claiming that the club are already in ‘really advanced’ talks with Bournemouth star Lloyd Kelly.

The Magpies are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements this summer and require strong squad depth at the back to cover for the loss of long-term injury absentees Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles.

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Newcastle, like many top clubs, are in a position where they must tread lightly with financial fair play, but they could pick up Kelly on a free transfer this summer, in a move which would fill a huge void in the squad and still leave the Magpies with further money to spend in other areas of the pitch.

Kelly already has a strong working relationship with Eddie Howe, having been signed by the 46-year-old during his stint at Bournemouth in 2019.

At the time of his arrival for £13m, Howe said: “Lloyd is an exciting talent and a player of real potential, while at the same time already possessing good experience for someone so young.

"He is athletic, versatile, physically excellent and has a very bright future ahead of him. I'm delighted that we have been able to strike so early in the summer and look forward to working with Lloyd during the coming seasons."

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Kelly struggled with injuries during Howe’s final season and played just eight times as the club suffered relegation. However, he has since proven himself and has played a combined total of 129 matches for the Cherries, whilst impressing in multiple positions including centre back and left back.

Andoni Iraola is keen for Kelly to stay, but Fabrizio Romano now believes a move to reunion with Howe on Tyneside is imminent. He told GiveMeSport reporters: "They [Newcastle] are working on smart signings because as we already said on the podcast in the last episode, Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth [is the] top target.

"Newcastle are really confident to make it happen. Kelly and Newcastle, the expectation is for the deal to advance really fast in the next weeks and then they are still working on Tosin Adarabioyo. Chelsea also called for him, Man Utd are also informed of the situation, but Newcastle in this case, are really pushing.

"Eddie Howe appreciates the player and so Newcastle could sign two centre-backs on a free transfer. From what I'm hearing, Kelly is really, really advanced and for Tosin Adarabioyo negotiations are still ongoing."

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