Newcastle United are now capable of competing with the big boys in the transfer market.
The club managed to stave off interest from AC Milan to sign Sven Botman and were able to pluck Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon despite Arsenal being keen.
It stands to reason that the better Eddie Howe’s side do on the pitch, the more likely that is to happen again.
Having the necessary funds is one thing of course but if the club can offer potential recruits European football and an ambition to win trophies, there is little reason to imagine that stopping at Newcastle.
With that in mind, a transfer tussle with Chelsea does not sound quite as daunting as it once would have done.
Newcastle keeping tabs on Brahim Diaz
Indeed, The Sunday Sun (p 64 19/03/2023) claim the Magpies are casting keen eyes over Real Madrid attacking midfielder Brahim Diaz.
The Spanish international began his career on the books of Manchester City and was hailed as “incredible” by Pep Guardiola but moved to Madrid in 2019. After struggling for regular game time in the Spanish capital, the 23-year-old joined AC Milan on loan, where has been since.
Part of the Rossoneri side who won the Serie A title last year, Diaz is enjoying a strong campaign. The attacking midfielder has scored five goals in 31 appearances across all competitions this season but could be made available by Madrid this summer.
Both the Blues and Newcastle are said to have been made aware of that and are now alert to the possibility of moving to sign for Diaz.
Newcastle do lack goals from midfield
Howe does lack a goalscoring midfielder, albeit Guimaraes could potentially fill that role if he gets his wish to play further forward.
Other than Guimaraes, no one in midfield has scored more than two goals this season and that lack of firepower has proven costly. Only Brentford have drawn on more occasions than Newcastle (11) this season while Howe’s side also rank eighth in the Premier League for goals (39), so introducing more threat in areas outside of just the forwards makes sense.
At 23, Diaz has won the Italian, Spanish and Premier League, while also making 11 appearances in the Champions League. That is some pedigree and the notion of Howe getting to develop that kind of talent is hugely exciting.
With plenty of room to grow going forward, it’s easy to see why there would be interest in Diaz, particularly given Newcastle’s lack of options in that particular area.