Steve Bruce leaves position as Newcastle head coach
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Newcastle United have identified Porto winger Luis Diaz as their main transfer target ahead of the upcoming January window, according to reports. The Magpies are widely expected to compete with some of Europe’s biggest clubs in the mid-season market after their controversial Saudi-led takeover was finally completed earlier this month.
The Public Investment Fund, which represents the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, now owns an 80 per cent stake in the Tyneside outfit and is expected to heavily back the club in future transfer windows.
Newcastle’s owners are currently working to appoint a new manager after Steve Bruce was relieved of his duties on Wednesday morning.
Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has reportedly emerged as Newcastle’s top choice, with negotiations believed to be at an advanced stage.
However, it seems as though the Magpies have also been drawing up their plan of attack for the January window as they look to bolster their ranks ahead of the business end of the season.
Diaz has been earmarked as the club’s priority target, with Newcastle prepared to meet his £67.5million release clause at the turn of the year, according to Sport TV.
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The Colombian forward is currently enjoying a spell of strong form with Porto, scoring six goals from eight matches in the Primeira Liga since the beginning of the campaign.
He also turned plenty of heads while on international duty over the summer, finishing his Copa America campaign as the tournament’s joint-top scorer alongside none other than Lionel Messi.
The report claims that Newcastle are planning to revolutionise their squad in January and would like Diaz to be the first man through the door.
His transfer fee is not expected to cause any problems for the Tyneside club, with the Public Investment Fund’s cash reserves totalling more than £300billion.
However, it remains to be seen whether they can tempt Diaz, who remains under contract until 2024, into swapping Porto for the north east.
Newcastle have been linked with a number of high-profile names since the completion of their lucrative takeover, including the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Aaron Ramsey and even Harry Kane in recent weeks.
The club’s new owners are believed to be keen on making plenty of influential signings between now and the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Newcastle defender Javier Manquillo has already urged his employers to pursue the additions of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in order for the club to quickly establish themselves as one of the Premier League’s most feared opponents.
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“If you ask me who I’d sign for Newcastle, I’d go for Mbappe and I’d go for Haaland,” Manquillo told The Telegraph.
“If it was a PlayStation team I’d also go for [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano [Ronaldo], but the youngsters who stand out the most right now are those two.”
Newcastle were unable to kick off their new era with a win against Tottenham last Sunday, with the north Londoners eventually holding on to secure a 3-2 victory at St James’ Park.
The Magpies will be eager to bounce back and pick up three much-needed points in their next outing against Crystal Palace away from home on Saturday afternoon.
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