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Three players Paulo Fonseca could reunite with at Newcastle United - opinion

With Paulo Fonseca reportedly growing in confidence that he will be named the new manager of Newcastle United, he may have already started identifying potential transfer targets.

Eurosport claim Fonseca made a good impression during talks over succeeding Steve Bruce in the Magpies hot seat.

Although the new Saudi-led consortium want long-term success brought to St James’ Park, the need to get the club out of the relegation zone is intensifying with every passing game.

Fonseca is allegedly someone the new owners see capable of steadying the tide in the short-term but can lead the club into a new era of success too.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

If the 48-year-old is named the new manager of Newcastle and embarks on a new chapter in English football, he could look to reunite with some former players who know all about the Premier League.

Here are three players Fonseca could target on Tyneside….

Chris Smalling

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Following the signing of Harry Maguire, Smalling found himself out-of-favour at Manchester United and Fonseca signed the England international on an initial season-long loan in Rome.

Smalling made 37 appearances in his first season in Italy, scoring three goals and helping Fonseca’s side finish fifth in Serie A and qualify for the Europa League.

The former Fulham man’s consistent performances convinced Fonseca to sign the centre-back on a permanent deal for £13.5m (Transfermarkt).

But the former Premier League winner struggled with injuries last season which restricted him to 16 Serie A appearances.

The 31-year-old is back playing under Jose Mourinho currently, but with a contract set to expire in 2023, Fonseca could try and bring Smalling with him to Newcastle and help sure up a leaky backline.

Fred

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Fonseca managed the Brazilian midfielder for two seasons during their time together at Shakhtar Donetsk.

In Fonseca’s second season at the Ukrainian giants, the pair beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Champions League and got through a group containing the Premier League champions, Napoli and Feyenoord.

Fred’s performances under Fonseca convinced Manchester United to spend £47m (BBC Sport) on him.

With uncertainty surrounding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future at Old Trafford growing, Fred could find himself on the fringes in Manchester very quickly.

A reunion with Fonseca could see Fred rekindle the form that helped the pair win five trophies together.

Fred would bring some much-needed energy and work rate out-of-possession into Newcastle’s midfield.

Henrikh
Mkhitaryan

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With his contract expiring in the summer, Mkhitaryan could be targeted by Fonseca to bolster Newcastle’s ability to carve out goalscoring chances for the likes of Callum Wilson.

After joining Roma on a free transfer from Arsenal following a season on loan under Fonseca, Mkhitaryan now finds himself playing under Mourinho once again, the man who brought him to Old Trafford and then froze him out.

In his two full seasons under Fonseca, the Armenian scored 22 goals and made 16 assists from 56 Serie A matches.

He thrived under Fonseca and played his best football since shining under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund.

At the age of 32 and with some potential unfinished business in the Premier League, Mkhitaryan could be on Fonseca’s Newcastle radar.

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