Although Newcastle United will not be signing top defensive target Diego Carlos this January, they could yet add another Brazilian in the shape of Marcao, according to reports.
Newcastle’s new owners have been keen to display their financial power in their first transfer window since the takeover. So far, they have attracted Kieran Trippier from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and Chris Wood from relegation rivals Burnley.
It could be a frantic final few days of January at St James’ Park as they explore further signings. Strengthening at centre-back remains a key issue that head coach Eddie Howe wants to address.
In that regard, they were chasing a deal for Diego Carlos until they were told it was off the table.
Therefore, they now need to quickly look into deals for alternative targets – and Marcao has emerged as one.
According to Tuttomercatoweb, Newcastle want to take the Brazilian from Galatasaray, where he has played since 2019.
The 25-year-old has made 126 appearances for the Turkish club, who have him under contract until 2024.
But they could be more open to a deal than Sevilla were for Diego Carlos; indeed, TMW claim Marcao could be available for just €15m (just under £12.5m).
Although he has never played in England before, there have been links with such a move for Marcao for a while. In fact, rumours of a move to Newcastle cropped up in the summer of 2020, long before the Saudi-backed takeover.
Now, with that extra financial muscle behind them, Newcastle may have a better chance of a successful conclusion to the transfer saga.
But they will have to hurry if they want to get the deal done mid-season, since only a few days of the window remain.
They will also be working on deals for left-back Mitchel Bakker and central midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.
Marcao one of many defenders linked
Centre-half is a real area of concern though; only Norwich have shipped more goals in the Premier League so far.
It is no surprise, then, that Marcao is not the only alternative to Carlos to have come up in conversation.
Reports earlier on Thursday revealed Newcastle are planning to make an improved bid to sign Brighton & Hove Albion defender Dan Burn.
On Wednesday morning, it was claimed Newcastle had submitted an offer to sign 6ft 7in Burn. But the £8m offer to the Seagulls for the 29-year-old was turned down.
But the Daily Mail have since claimed Newcastle will return with a revised offer.
Just how much Newcastle will go to is unclear, but anywhere over the £10m mark will surely leave Graham Potter with a decision to make.
Brighton signed Burn in 2018 for £4m, so they would make a healthy profit on the player – who can also feature at left-back – if they decided to sell this month.
Burn has made 13 Premier League appearances this season after struggling with a knee problem. He is also under contract for just 18 months, with his deal up in June 2023.
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