Newcastle round-up - One striker linked, another reportedly scouted, midfielder link returns plus central defender on Magpies' radar

Danny Ings
Danny Ings

January may seem a long way off but already talk is turning to who Newcastle United may add in the winter window.

Rafa Benitez admitted last week that he does not know whether he will be backed by the Magpies board, but continues the hard work behind the scenes to get homework done on players, should United be in a position to move.

That uncertainty has not stopped links popping up throughout the international break.

And here's a round-up of the latest transfer news from St James's Park...

Striker scouted?

It was a link that first surfaced at the back end of the summer window, as United's search for reinforcements began to hasten.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

While interest in Cenk Tosun has never been confirmed, club scouts have definitely seen the Besiktas and Turkey striker in action in recent months.

And they were again in attendance as Tosun led the Turkish line in a 3-0 home loss to Iceland.

The club were not alone in being there, though, representatives from Valencia, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Inter Milan and Crystal Palace were also reportedly in the stands.

Palace had a considerable bid, thought to be around the £12million mark, rejected for Tosun in August.

Jamaal Lascelles signing a new Magpies SIX-year United deal last week

Jamaal Lascelles signing a new Magpies SIX-year United deal last week

Danny Ings link

According to the Times, Newcastle failed with a bid to sign Liverpool striker Danny Ings on loan this summer.

The report suggests that both the Magpies and Eddie Howe's Bournemouth were keen to take the centre-forward on a temporary basis but the player rejected the chance to leave.

Ings was said to be keen to fight for his place on Merseyside, having only recently recovered from long-term injury.

Midfielder talk returns

Dennis Praet is a player Benitez clearly likes.

And had money been more readily available in the summer it would have been no surprise to have seen United enter the bidding for the Belgian international, who was also interesting Premier League rivals Everton.

That, as we all know, never got close to happening.

But Italian media outlet Sport Mediaset claim United are still the club most keen on the Sampdoria man, but they also say there is interest from clubs "around Europe".

Cash will decide whether this one is ever a goer for Rafa.

Centre half target?

It's not an area most people would look to strengthen in January, but, as the manager said last week, Newcastle are looking to add in every department, if better players can be brought in from elsewhere.

This applies to the central defensive department, too.

While it is obvious Florian Lejeune is the manager's pick as the main man, despite injury curtailing that somewhat, Jamaal Lascelles has also underlined his top flight credentials of late.

Ciaran Clark, one of last season's stand outs, might find his place under threat but is a top quality, international performer, so too Chancel Mbemba, when called upon.

That hasn't stopped links to Slavia Prague defneder Jakub Jugas popping up.

The former Czech Republic Under-21 international is reportedly available for £2million this winter, and the Sunday People claimed this weekend that Benitez has had him watched in the last three games.