Newcastle United 'scout' £120m Brazil duo as Jarrad Branthwaite race intensifies

Your round-up of the latest Newcastle United stories ahead of Saturday's clash against West Ham.

Newcastle United return to St James' Park on Saturday as they welcome West Ham in the Premier League. Eddie Howe's side have had two weeks to reflect on their FA Cup elimination at the hands of Manchester City, with all eyes now turning to the final 10 league games and a push up the table.

David Moyes' side have been in decent form and currently sit three places above the Magpies going into the clash, and so will present a tough test for Howe and his men. In the meantime, the Shields Gazette has rounded up some of the latest headlines surrounding the club.

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Brazil scouting mission

Newcastle's head of recruitment Steve Nickson was at Wembley to watch England's defeat to Brazil last week with an eye on two potential targets. The Chronicle reports that Raphinha and Gleison Bremer were both of interest to the Magpies transfer chief.

Barcelona winger Raphinha was thought to be a key man to watch for several top-flight scouts, with reports suggesting he could be available for £60m. The 27-year-old's time in La Liga has not been perfect but a two-year spell in the Premier League with Leeds United yielded 17 goals, 12 assists and some magical moments of skill.

Bremer is attracting interest amid an outstanding season with Juventus, with the centre-back playing more minutes than anyone else at the club as part of Serie A's second-best defence. Previous reports have also suggested he could cost up to £60m.

Branthwaite race

Newcastle have been named as one of three Premier League sides in the race for Jarrad Branthwaite. Football Transfers believes they and Manchester City have 'emerged as contenders' for the defender who is widely expected to leave Everton this summer.

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Branthwaite has come through as one of Europe's most promising young centre-backs this season, providing a rare shining light in an otherwise dismal campaign at Goodison Park. The 21-year-old's form also earned a first ever England senior call up during the most recent international break.

A move to St James' Park is said to be 'unlikely' but Newcastle's need for defensive reinforcements could push them to act on interest. Everton are expected to want around £75m for their man.