Newcastle United PIF signing targeted, Loris Karius contract situation & no transfer bids made

There are just 13 days left of the January transfer window and Newcastle United are yet to secure a major first-team signing.

Garang Kuol’s arrival from Central Coast Mariners is Newcastle’s only arrival so far this month. The 18-year-old was quickly loaned out to Heart of Midlothian to get experience.

Martin Dubravka has also returned to the club after his loan spell at Manchester United was cut short.

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Other than that, it has been a very quiet month for Eddie Howe’s side compared to the previous two transfer windows. Here’s how things are shaping up now we’re into the final two weeks of the window…

Newcastle United's New Zealand striker Chris Wood runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Leeds United at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 31, 2022.(Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
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Newcastle United’s January transfer ‘priority’ with at least two signings target...

What players are Newcastle United looking to sign this January

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe insists the club are ‘working hard’ in the transfer market but are yet to make a bid for a player so far. Enquiries have been made and players are being watched but nothing substantial has emerged.

Jaume Costa of RCD Mallorca and Ivan Fresneda of Real Valladolid CF competes for the ball during the LaLiga Santander match between RCD Mallorca and Real Valladolid CF at Estadio de Son Moix on January 07, 2023 in Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images)

The Magpies have been watching Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda this month but the 18-year-old has several potential suitors. Lyon’s Malo Gusto has been touted as a potential alternative to the Spaniard.

Newcastle want to add quality to the group to help them compete for a Champions League place heading into the second half of the season but, as always, it must be the right player at the right price.

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Howe has remained tight-lipped regarding which positions he is hoping to strengthen this month, but it is understood a central midfielder is a priority area. Newcastle currently have just three senior central midfielders available for selection following injuries to Bruno Guimaraes, Jonjo Shelvey and Elliot Anderson.

Chelsea duo Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are both of interest to Newcastle but no formal approach has been made. The England internationals are both understood to be keen to remain at Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle United player Allan Saint-Maximin reacts whilst sat on the floor during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Fulham FC at St. James Park on January 15, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Leicester City midfield pair James Maddison and Youri Tielemans are also two players The Magpies will continue to monitor. Maddison is a top target for Newcastle but any move is likely to come in the summer.

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Tielemans is out of contract in the summer and unlikely to sign a new deal at the King Power Stadium, meaning he could be available for a cut-price deal this month. But no offers have been forthcoming.

When will Newcastle sign a player in January?

Unlike last January, there is no desperation for Newcastle to get deals done quickly. The squad could still do with some bolstering in certain areas but the club remain fairly relaxed with how things are unfolding.

Loris Karius of Newcastle United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St. James Park on September 17, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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At least two new signings before the end of the month is still realistic for Newcastle as we approach the business end of the window. Signings either on or close to deadline day are likely.

And incomings will also depend on which players United are able to offload this month.

Which players will be leaving Newcastle this month?

Ryan Fraser dropping down the pecking order has cast his future at Newcastle into serious doubt. The winger has been fit since the World Cup break but hasn’t featured in a competitive match since October and has been left out of the squad in seven of United’s last nine matches.

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Frustrated with his lack of game time, Fraser is open to leaving Newcastle this month, whether it be on loan or permanently.

Striker Chris Wood has also attracted some interest from a number of bottom-half Premier League sides. Nottingham Forest are understood to be keen on taking the £25million signing on loan until the end of the season and have approached Newcastle.

But The Magpies would not be willing to let the 31-year-old leave unless they are able to get a suitable replacement in. The 31-year-old also recently stated his commitment to staying at Newcastle but Forest are pushing to get a move done.

The situation surrounding Allan Saint-Maximin is also an intriguing one. The winger is viewed as the club’s most saleable asset having previously quoted £40million for the 25-year-old when approached by Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

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The player also hasn’t started a league match for The Magpies since August. He was set to start at Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup but dropped out late on the eve of the match due to illness.

Saint-Maximin is in contention to start at Crystal Palace this Saturday with Bruno Guimaraes nursing an ankle injury. Whether Howe decides to start him or not could be a statement in itself.

A goalkeeper is the most realistic departure this month with Karl Darlow attracting loan interest from a number of Championship clubs, including Huddersfield Town.

Loris Karius’ contract situation

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This time last month, Loris Karius looked set to stay at Newcastle United as discussions regarding a new deal got under way. The German goalkeeper said himself that there is a ‘good chance’ he will remain at the club past January, when his initial short-term deal was set to expire.

But Martin Dubravka’s unplanned return from his loan at Manchester United forced something of a rethink in terms of Newcastle’s goalkeeper situation. The club now has five senior goalkeepers on their books, meaning someone realistically has to leave.

For a while, that looked set to be Karius as the 29-year-old is yet to make his competitive debut for the club and hasn’t featured in a matchday squad since the Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out win over Crystal Palace before the World Cup break.

A decision must be made this week and productive talks between the club and the player are set to see Karius stay on Tyneside until the end of the season. Mail Online have also reported that a new deal for Karius could see Karl Darlow leave on loan in the closing stages of the window.

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Such a move would make sense as Newcastle will have to part ways with at least one goalkeeper this month.