Newcastle United 'step up' interest in AC Milan and Spurs free agent target

The latest transfer talk from St James Park as Newcastle United prepare for the summer transfer window.
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An injury suffered by club captain Jamaal Lascelles has reportedly persuaded Newcastle United to prioritise the signing of a Premier League centre-back during the summer transfer window.

The Magpies stalwart was forced out of Saturday’s dramatic 4-3 win against West Ham United with what appeared to be a serious knee injury during the first-half at St James Park. United confirmed the long-serving centre-back had picked up an anterior cruciate ligament injury and will undergo surgery over the next week ahead of what is expected to be a rehabilitation period of at least six months.

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In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, the Magpies said: "After seeing a specialist consultant, he is expected to undergo surgery next week and will be out for six to nine months. Everyone at Newcastle United extends their best wishes to Jamaal for a full and speedy recovery.”

With the summer transfer window now just over two months away from opening, the Magpies are currently putting together their plans to enhance Eddie Howe’s squad and there have been several reports suggesting at least one new centre-back is on the agenda. The injury to Lascelles has meant that matter is now even more pressing and one report has suggested one Premier League centre-back has already been identified as a key target.

Just under five years have passed since current Magpies boss Eddie Howe made Bristol City star Lloyd Kelly one of his final signings of his lengthy reign at Bournemouth - and now there is talk of a reunion on Tyneside as the former England Under-21 defender approaches the final months of his deal at the Vitality Stadium as HITC claimed Newcastle are ready to ‘step up their interest’ in Kelly over the coming weeks.

Asked about Kelly’s contract situation last month, Cherries boss Andoni Iraola said: “There is no update. I know that the club are working on it. We would like to be part of his ideas for the future. But there are no updates there.” Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Juventus and AC Milan have also been linked with the Cherries star.

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