Newcastle United 'plot' £15m Bournemouth double swoop as FFP forces transfer rethink
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Eddie Howe is planning a double reunion with Bournemouth duo Lloyd Kelly and Philip Billing at Newcastle United, according to reports.
The Toon boss signed both players ahead of his final campaign on the south coast almost four years ago. Kelly featured just nine times for the Cherries that season as an ankle injury ruled him out for most of the season.
However, the 25-year-old has since become an integral player on the south coast, helping Bournemouth return to the Premier League before cementing their top-flight status. A former England under-21 international, Kelly is out of contract in the summer so would be an ideal target given Newcastle’s FFP/PSR situation.
The club were hamstrung in their attempts to sign new players last month and, while the purse strings can be loosened from June, they must still be wary of the balance sheet. Signing a Premier League proven centre-back - a position the Magpies a short for cover - on a free transfer would be a prudent decision to free up funds elsewhere.
As for Billing, Howe persuaded Bournemouth chiefs to pay £15million for his services in 2020. A tall, physically imposing midfielder, the Dane’s arrival could be viewed as a potential Joelinton understudy.
Billing is 6ft 4in and capable of playing as a holding player, a No.8 or further forward. Newcastle’s engine room has looked lightweight in recent times as Howe has relied heavily upon Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock and youngster Lewis Miley.
Signing Billing would add a versatile operator to their ranks and, like Kelly, someone tried and tested in the Premier League. The Daily Mail claim £15million might be enough to tempt Bournemouth - further strengthening the Magpies’ hand with FFP/PSR regulations.