Newcastle United dealt potential striker blow in January transfer hunt

Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic had been under consideration at Newcastle United this month.
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Real Madrid are set to keep Serbian striker Luka Jovic after snubbing interest from Newcastle United and Arsenal.

The Premier League clubs have both held a long-standing interest in the former Benfica and Eintracht Frankfurt star and have considered making a firm move for his services this month.

The Magpies were first linked with Jovic at the end of the 2019/20 season after he had endured a difficult first season with the La Liga giants.

After moving to the Bernabau in £50million move 12 months earlier, Jovic suffered a series of injuries and scored just two goals in 27 appearances during his first year in the Spanish capital.

A loan move back to Frankfurt saw the striker find some form during the second-half of last season - but he returned to Madrid last summer and has made just two starts in all competitions this season.

That has not prevented Newcastle and Arsenal making tentative enquiries over a possible loan switch to the Premier League - but Spanish outlet Marca has reported Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has “closed the door” on any move.

Concerns over the ongoing hamstring issues suffered by French striker Karim Benzema have put an end to any thoughts of Jovic moving away from Madrid.

The report also gives an insight into Jovic’s thinking, stating: “Unlike some other players in the Real Madrid squad, he is willing to do his bit to try and seek a new club if his lack of minutes continues.

“Until then, though, Jovic will continue to give his all for the shirt and look to carve out a place in Ancelotti’s squad as the go-to player when Benzema needs to be rested or when the Frenchman is out injured.”

Newcastle are believed to be keen to add a striker to their squad ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline with the likes of Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata and Reims youngster Hugo Ekitike all linked with a move to St James Park.