Former Blackburn Rovers striker linked with Newcastle United January move as Steve Bruce admits business likely to 'go late'

Croatian international frontman Nikola Kalinic has reportedly been offered to Newcastle United, with view to a January deal.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 4:45 pm
BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Nikola Kalinic of Blackburn and Cheik Tiote of Newcastle chase the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United at Ewood Park on February 12, 2011 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

According to Italian publication Corriere Dello Sport, the 31-year-old is set to leave Roma, where he has spent the first half of the season on loan – and United could offer the player a Serie A escape route.

Kalinic was binned by Atletico Madrid in the summer having scored just four goals in 24 for Diego Simeone’s side. He’s not fared any better in Italy either, with six appearances and no goals to show for his loan spell so far.

The striker was signed by then Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce in 2009 and endured a difficult spell at Ewood Park before heading to Dnipro, then on to Fiorentina and AC Milan.

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The player is reportedly valued at around £10million, but is likely to be sent out on loan again, if recalled.

If Steve Bruce wants to add to his United ranks he must first trim the fat of his over-inflated Magpies squad.

Ki Sung-yeung will leave United this month, if Newcastle can find a taker, as will Yoshinori Muto and Dwight Gayle.

And despite the window being open for business, Bruce does not envisage much getting done early this month.

“January plans won’t ever change for me,” said Bruce, who in an ideal world would look to strike at least two loan deals this month.

“If someone is available better to improve then we act. We have a couple of plates spinning now and they could develop, but wait and see. Experience is that movement happens at the back end.”

Newcastle are down to the bare bones for their FA Cup third round trip to Rochdale tomorrow with 11 eligible players currently sidelined with injury – but that dire situation still does not change Bruce's transfer window thinking.

“The injuries don’t change things, we look past them,” said Bruce.

“Every team has three or four injuries and at the moment we have far too many, but after the weekend we hope to have five or six back to help the situation.”