Newcastle United 'eye' move for Liverpool 'target' who rejected contract offer, £15m midfielder also 'wanted'
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Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe is reportedly hoping to see off competition from Liverpool to launch a double raid on former club Bournemouth during the summer transfer window.
The Daily Mail have claimed the Magpies are considering moves for Cherries duo Lloyd Kelly and Philip Billing as Howe looks to boost his squad during what is likely to be a hectic summer period at St James Park. With the likes of club captain Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie all out of contract and several players being linked with moves away from Tyneside, United are monitoring several possible additions ahead of the close-season.
Although there has been speculation linking Newcastle with some big money moves, there is also believed to be a desire to find value-for-money in potential additions and defender Kelly could meet that need as he is out of contract and available on a free transfer at the end of the campaign. The England Under-21 international, who has also been linked with Liverpool, is well known to Howe after the Magpies boss made Kelly a £13m signing during his final year in charge at the Vitality Stadium.
Powerful midfielder Billing was also a Howe signing after he made a £15m switch to the south coast during the summer of 2019 after impressing in the Premier League with Huddersfield Town. Billing is said to be under consideration as doubt remains over Joelinton’s long-term future at Newcastle. There is said to be a ‘contract stand-off’ between the Magpies and their Brazilian international, who will enter the final 12 months of his current deal at the end of the season.
Speaking last month about the situation, Howe said: “I’m not a fortune-teller and I certainly hope that is not the case. There is a possibility that could be the case, but I don’t know. Eighteen months [left on a contract] is a vulnerable time for a club. The club will need to tie Joe down to a longer-term contract or there is a possibility he will be sold in the summer. That is just the reality of the situation.”