Newcastle United-linked defender tipped to snub Aston Villa in favour of Magpies move

Jose Enrique has spoken about Newcastle United’s links to Burnley defender James Tarkowski.

Newcastle United and Aston Villa have been credited with interest in Burnley defender James Tarkowski.

And former Magpies left-back Jose Enrique has explained why Tarkowski should join Eddie Howe’s men ahead of Villa - if push comes to shove.

Tarkowski is out of contract this summer and is unlikely to stay at Turf Moor following their relegation from the Premier League.

While the 29-year-old remains under consideration by United’s transfer officials, NewcastleWorld understands other targets will be approached first.

Only then, if unsuccessful, would Newcastle make a move for Tarkowski, despite Enrique believing he’d be the “perfect signing”.

Speaking to bettingexpert, Enrique said: “(James) Tarkowski, a centre-back, on a free, he’ll be a very good signing. Wages wise, they’ll pay him well. Aston Villa, want him as well so I’m not sure what will happen there.

“I feel sorry for Stevie (Steven Gerrard) but the reality is, if I have Aston Villa and Newcastle, I’ll go to Newcastle with the players that they have and the club that they have.

“I think it’s massive. If he has both options, definitely I’d go to Newcastle.”

Steven Gerrard’s Villa have moved quickly in the transfer market so far - with Philippe Coutinho, Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos, a prime target for Newcastle in January, signed up.

“He’s (Tarkowski) a very good centre-back, and it’s on a free, then obviously you’ll have to pay him salary-wise, more.

“He would be a great signing. They need a centre-back who’s experienced in the Premier League. He’s the perfect centre-back for Newcastle. Perfect.”