Newcastle were reportedly linked with a move for Everton’s 23-year-old defender Mason Holgate over the weekend, with the player said to be on the wish-list of a number of interested clubs.
Holgate is said to be valued at around £14 million, and as well as Newcastle, Premier League rivals Sheffield United and Bournemouth are also keen on a January deal, according to the report in the Sun.
How realistic Steve Bruce’s alleged interest is, remains to be seen, but it would be a surprise if the player is a priority target, and it is unlikely he would end up at St James’ Park.
Of course, you should never say never, but here a three reasons why we do not think he will be coming to Tyneside.
Newcastle have strength in depth at centre-back
The one area where Bruce genuinely does not need immediate additions, is at the heart of his defence. With Florian Lejeune now back to full fitness, we have six players who can all comfortably compete when given an opportunity.
Even accounting for Holgate’s versatility – he can also be deployed as a defensive midfielder – he is unlikely to be offered any more game-time at Newcastle, than he is currently getting at Goodison Park.
The potential reported fee
The reported fee would allegedly be a minimum of £14m, and although in the current transfer market, that is not a vast sum, with Newcastle having some money available, it seems very improbable that Bruce would spend a large chunk of his budget on a centre-back.
The only way it could possibly be conceived to be true, is if one of our current crop of central defenders is on the verge of being sold.
Had it been earlier in the season, when Fabian Schar was picking up plaudits from everyone, fans may have been concerned that any speculation surrounding a centre-back signing, would be because they were thinking of cashing in on the Swiss international.
But his subsequent injury, and battle to regain his spot, has curtailed much of the talk about Schar, and would be a huge shock if he is not on Tyneside in February.
Why would Everton sell him before a new manager can judge him?
The Toffees are, of course, currently looking for a new manager, and as such, it would be silly for the Merseyside club to consider selling any of their first team squad before their next appointment has the chance to run the rule over them all.
If they sold Holgate, and he went on to great things elsewhere, the new manager would have every right to ask why they did not wait, and let him have the final say on whether he rated him or not.
In fact, Holgate has made 13 Everton appearances in both the Premier League and EFL Cup this season, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a new manager would see him as the future of the club, and want him to be the first-choice defender.
So when you take all the factors into account, it is logical to assume that Newcastle will not be in the market for Holgate – or any other centre-back at senior level – in the January transfer window.