Newcastle United join race for £68m Arsenal target as defender of Premier League rivals eyed on free transfer

Your round-up of the latest Newcastle United stories in the middle of a rare week with no match action.
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Newcastle United have six games remaining to secure a place in Europe for next season, and Eddie Howe’s side put themselves in a strong position after thumping Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on Saturday. A return to the Champions League is looking highly unlikely but Europa League or Europa Conference League qualification remains a strong possibility.

With the Magpies not in action again until next Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace, this week presents a rare opportunity to fully rest and recover ahead of the final few games. In the meantime, The Shields Gazette has rounded up some of the latest stories to come out of St. James’ Park.

Diomande race

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Newcastle have reportedly joined the race for Ousmane Diomande. Football Transfers reports that they are ‘monitoring the situation’ of the Sporting CP defender amid intensifying interest elsewhere.

Diomande has enjoyed an incredible 18 months in Portugal, having made the move from Danish outfit FC Midtjylland in January 2023 for just £6million. Sporting are set to bank huge profit on the 20-year-old with the expectation being that any potential suitor will need to activate an €80m (£68.4m) release clause.

Newcastle will be in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer with depth needed amid long-term injuries for Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles. Liverpool and Chelsea are also said to be interested in Diomande.

Kelly decision

Newcastle are reportedly ‘ready’ to push forward with a move for Bournemouth centre-back Lloyd Kelly. The Northern Echo reports that Kelly has risen to the top of this summer’s shopping list.

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The 25-year-old’s contract is set to expire this summer and offers of a new deal at the Vitality Stadium have so far been rejected. It is expected he will leave as a free agent and those in charge at St. James’ Park are preparing to snap up a bargain.

With reinforcements needed in multiple positions and financial constraints tight, the ability of Newcastle to do some shrewd business would be welcomed by everyone at the club. Magpies manager Howe sanctioned the £13m purchase of Kelly at Bournemouth back in 2019.