Newcastle ‘offered’ chance to sign former Man Utd target that nearly joined West Ham

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Newcastle have been offered the chance to sign former Manchester United transfer target Nikola Milenkovic, reports claim. The Serbian international, who was on the cusp of joining West Ham last summer before a deal collapsed, is the latest option to emerge for the Magpies in their restless search for a new central defender.

Eddie Howe is keen to bring in at least one – if not two – new centre-backs in a bid to tighten up Newcastle’s leaky backline.

Having won just one of their 19 Premier League matches this season, there is now real cause for concern that the world’s richest club could be playing Championship football next season.

Yet the Magpies have struggled in their pursuit of January signings despite landing Kieran Trippier for £12million in the early stages of the transfer window.

After Lille refused to sell Sven Botman, it appears a new name has crept into Newcastle’s thinking.

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According to Newcastle World, the Magpies have been offered the chance to sign Milenkovic.

The 24-year-old only recently put pen to paper on a new deal with La Viola.

Yet despite being happy in Florence, it appears the Italian club could potentially be open to a sale.

Milenkovic has previously been tracked by Manchester United and Tottenham in the past after emerging as one of the brightest young defenders in Europe.

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The Hammers were then on course to win the race last summer before a deal broke down in the final stages.

Newcastle do have a number of other targets in mind though including Monaco’s Benoît Badiashile.

The 20-year-old has caught the eye of Newcastle’s recruitment team but did pick up a muscle injury on Sunday in the 0-0 draw at Nantes.

It’s understood the issue could potentially scupper the player’s chances of earning a move to Tyneside this month.

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Sevilla’s Diego Carlos also remains of interest after the club saw their opening offer of £25m rejected for the Brazilian.

Speaking after the 1-0 defeat to Cambridge in the FA Cup, Howe admitted he’s got his fingers crossed over new signings, highlighting the positive feeling around the club since Trippier arrived.

“We would love to and I think you could see what Kieran did to the team and to the stadium,” Howe told BBC Newcastle.

“I thought the supporters’ response to him was first class so I think new signings at this moment would breed new confidence in the team so fingers crossed.”

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