Newcastle United 'in talks' over Bayer Leverkusen left-back Mitchel Bakker as race for defender signing ahead of Leeds clash speeds up, ex-Liverpool and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli linked

Newcastle United hope to do more business before the January 31 deadline – with more names linked today.

The Daily Mail report Newcastle are ‘in talks’ over a move for Bayer Leverkusen left-back Mitchel Bakker.

They report: “The Dutch U21 international, a product of Ajax's academy, only joined Leverkusen last summer from Paris St Germain in a deal worth up to £8.5million and Newcastle are willing to offer them a quick profit.”

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Meanwhile, in a left-field link, there are fresh reports in the Mail Newcastle are weighing up a ‘sensational swoop for Mario Balotelli’ – the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker currently plays for Adana Demirspor in Turkey.

A flag showing the Tyne Bridge is pictured alongside fans in the Gallowgate End. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Newcastle hope to secure new centre-back ahead of Leeds United clash

Meanwhile, Newcastle United are hoping to bolster their defensive options ahead of the trip to Leeds United.

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It comes as No1 defensive target this January window, Diego Carlos has reportedly requested to leave Sevilla following a transfer approach from Newcastle United.

The 28-year-old centre-back has emerged as a key target for Newcastle this month and is understood to be keen on a move.

Newcastle United are working on a loan move for Jesse Lingard

The Manchester Evening News report that the proposed deal would effectively end the midfielder’s Manchester United career, as he’s out of contract in the summer.

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Lingard, 29, spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham United.

The club has already signed Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier from Burnley and Atletico Madrid respectively in this month’s transfer window.

Lingard scored against Newcastle earlier this season.

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