Newcastle ‘above’ Chelsea, Liverpool in pursuit of France star; Howe wants £34m Everton flop

Jason Soutar
Reported Newcastle targets Adrien Rabiot and Moise Kean celebrate a goal

Newcastle United are reportedly leading the race to sign Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot – who is out of contract in 2023.

The Magpies have been excellent this season after spending over £200million in their first two transfer windows under their new owners.

You get the feeling that Eddie Howe is only getting started at St James’ Park.

While the club have spent a decent amount of money, many people expected them to splash the cash a lot more.

Instead, their business has been sensible, and their marquee signings Sven Botman, Alexander Isak, and Bruno Guimaraes have all hit the ground running in England.

With Newcastle third in the Premier League with only one defeat this season, Howe could bring in some more new faces in January as his side make a surprise push for European football.

While this is likely, the two players in question here probably won’t join until the summer window, if they were to sign for the Geordies.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Newcastle are ‘above all’ in the transfer race to sign Rabiot from Juventus.

The Magpies have edged ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea. Manchester United made an attempt to sign the France international last summer.

Rabiot’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is expected to ask for a fair whack in wages.

After Manchester United opted not to meet his pay demands, it will be interesting to see whether or not Newcastle will.

The 27-year-old has performed well for France at the 2022 World Cup but started on the bench in Les Bleus’ surprise 1-0 loss against Tunisia on Wednesday, coming on in the 63rd minute.

In 145 appearances for Juventus, Rabiot has scored 11 goals.

He is a player with a wealth of experience having played 60 times in the Champions League for both Juve and Paris Saint-Germain.

Newcastle are also said to be interested in one of Rabiot’s club teammates.

This is according to Juve Dipendenza, who reckon Moise Kean’s situation in Turin is ‘complicated’.

Well, Kean’s career is certainly a complicated one.

He signed for Premier League club Everton in August 2019, joining as one of the highest-rated young players in world football.

It definitely did not work out at Goodison Park, with the Italian striker scoring four times for the Toffees and going down as one of their worst signings ever.

However, he secured a loan move to PSG after one season before returning to Juve on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy for a reported £34m.

Kean enjoyed a terrific November with the Old Lady before the World Cup break, but the report states that the Serie A club are scared of losing him.

Despite flopping for Everton, it is said Kean has Premier League ‘admirers’, most notably Newcastle.

Dipendenza claim Juve would be keen on a swap deal, with Allan Saint-Maximin unsurprisingly ‘very welcome’ in Turin.

If Juve were to acquire the French winger, they would have to offer Newcastle Kean and some cash.

After a very poor start to the season, Juve went into the World Cup break on a six-match winning run in the league and are hoping to compete with Napoli for the title.

While their fortunes on the pitch have improved, it looks like they are all over the shop off it.

It was reported this week that the whole board had resigned following a meeting.

This includes President Andrea Agnelli and vice-president Pavel Nedved.

Juve are apparently under police investigation over “salary manoeuvres” of the financial years between 2019 and 2021. Yikes.

The Italian giants were famously stripped of the 2004-05 Serie A title and relegated to Serie B over a mammoth match-fixing scandal and are fearing similar consequences.

Many sporting directors and referees received prison sentences as a result of the Calciopoli scandal.

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