Newcastle United have already been told transfer target is 'open' to signing this summer

Newcastle United manager Eddie HoweNewcastle United manager Eddie Howe
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe | Getty Images
Newcastle United will be in the hunt for a centre-back this summer following long-term injuries to Jamaal Lascelles and Sven Botman

A player who could be Newcastle United’s answer to their defensive crisis is open to joining the club this summer.

Lightning struck twice at the weekend when Toon skipper Jamaal Lascelles ruptured his ACL against West Ham United. Just days earlier, Sven Botman suffered the same injury - with the pair ruled out until the end of the year.

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With Tino Livramento, Kieran Trippier and Matt Targett sidelined, Newcastle are down to the bare bones at the back. Lloyd Kelly, a former Eddie Howe signing, could be the answer to their problems.

The 25-year-old joined Bournemouth in 2019 and returned from his own injury setback on Saturday. Reports have heavily linked Kelly with a move to Tyneside this summer as FFP/PSR constraints continue to govern Newcastle’s thinking.

Capable of playing at centre-back or left-back, the defender is out of contract in June. Signing Kelly - who has also been linked with Liverpool and Juventus - as a quick fix would free up funds to bolster the ranks in other areas.

Speaking in February, Cherries boss Andoni Iraola insisted the club were keen to keep Kelly and had begun“working” on a new deal. He told reporters: “There is no update. I know that the club are working on it. We would like to be part of his ideas for the future. But there are no updates there.”

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Newcastle have already been told that Kelly would be open to a St James’ Park switch. Reporter Ben Jacobs previously revealed Newcastle’s league position may dictate where the Bournemouth man ends up.

“Regarding Kelly, I think he would offer a budget option for Newcastle and could be a direction that the club moves in,” he told GiveMeSport. "I don't think there's anything set in stone at this point. But I know Kelly would be open to moving to a club like Newcastle.

“At this stage, I think it's more about Newcastle understanding what they can and can't do financially. That might mean waiting until a little bit later in the season to determine what kind of European football income, if any, is coming in, and then they’ll be able to firm up their summer plans.”

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