Defender opens up on failed Newcastle United move as Magpies 'scout' Serie A star

Transfer gossip begins to ramp up as Newcastle United edge closer to securing their Premier League status.

Steve Bruce’s side are nine points above 18th placed Fulham with Arsenal next up this weekend at St James’s Park.

Here are the latest rumours surrounding the Magpies:

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Jordan Lukaku opens up on failed Newcastle move

Jordan Lukaku has opened up on his failed move to Newcastle United in January 2019. (Photo by KRISTOF VAN ACCOM/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Jordan Lukaku has revealed how close he was to joining Newcastle United on loan in January 2019.

The Magpies had agreed a deal with Lazio to take the 26-year-old to St James’s Park for the remainder of the 2018/19 season.

Lukaku, brother of Romelu, flew to Tyneside for a medical before the deal was called off.

Now on loan at Belgian club Royal Antwerp, Lukaku told Soccer Bible: “Yes, I was really close but, at the time, I was injured. Both knees.

"It was really bad, so it didn’t go through. Even a month after that, I had surgery on both knees at the same time.”

Newcastle ‘interested’ in Japan international

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Newcastle United are interested in Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu.

That’s according to Italian site Il Resto del Carlino, who claims the Magpies sent scouts to watch the Japan international “a few months ago”.

Tomiyasu, 22, has featured 26 times for the Serie A club this season, though has been sidelined recently with a muscular problem.

Everton also are said to be keeping a close eye on Tomiyasu, who can play as a central defender or as a right-back.

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Steve Bruce set to be handed small budget next season

Steve Bruce will have a limited budget to work with next season, according to the Daily Mail.

Due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the ongoing takeover, Bruce is not expected to have much to spend.

Last summer, United spent £35million to sign, Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis, while Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick arrived on free transfers.

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The free agent market could be an avenue for the club once again with the report adding that Bruce wants to add a midfielder to his squad.

The 60-year-old is keen to sign Joe Willock permanently but his price tag is rumoured to be £20m.

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