Newcastle aim to topple Man Utd in Premier League by signing one of their benchwarmers

Jason Soutar
Reported Newcastle target Scott McTominay is substituted for Antony

Newcastle United have reportedly ‘firmed up’ their interest in Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay after showing ‘tentative interest’ in January.

The Magpies were interested in signing a new defensive midfielder in the winter transfer window but failed to do so.

A new No. 6 will be high on the agenda for Eddie Howe and his scouting team when the 2022-23 campaign comes to an end.

Newcastle have been linked with Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who is out of contract in 2024.

Bruno Guimaraes has been operating in a more defensive position than he and Howe would prefer.

The signing of a deep-lying midfielder would give the Brazilian the chance to thrive in a more attacking position and could potentially make Howe’s side a lot more dangerous in the final third.

Should McTominay join the north east club, Guimaraes will be able to play as a No. 8 and the Scotland international would get the game time he craves.

It has been a difficult season for McTominay, who has made 32 appearances this season, though only seven of those have come as a starter in the Premier League.

Summer signings Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, as well as Fred, are all ahead of the 26-year-old in the pecking order under Erik ten Hag.

A move at the end of the season could really suit McTominay and Manchester United perfectly.

However, would signing a player who can’t become a regular starter for a team they want to topple in the Premier League be good business for Newcastle?

According to The Telegraph, the Geordies have made McTominay a top target.

Howe apparently believes McTominay ‘has the physical attributes to succeed in his system’ and would play just in front of the back four, which would allow Guimaraes ‘to play further up the pitch to add more creativity in the final third’.

The Magpies had ‘tentative interest’ in the Scotland midfielder in January and did not pursue a deal, while the Red Devils were reluctant to sell to a direct rival for the Champions League places.

Newcastle ‘hope’ that stance will be ‘softened’ in the summer window with Ten Hag needing to sell to be able to buy.

Howe, chief scout Steve Nickson and director of football Dan Ashworth all agree McTominay ‘would add something different to the squad’, although he will not be seen as a ‘glamorous name’ that will excite supporters.

McTominay fits the bill for the Magpies boss – who prefers signing players with Premier League experience.

The report states that Howe believes the player can still improve and would ‘thrive in the holistic training ground environment’.

In a boost to the Geordies, McTominay is ‘open’ to moving to St James’ Park and has been ‘impressed’ by the club’s speedy progression under the former Bournemouth boss.

European qualification seems inevitable, so players with experience playing continental football will be high on Howe’s summer wishlist.

Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney is also a target and has plenty of Champions League and Europa League experience for both Celtic and the Gunners.

How much money Newcastle will be able to spend this summer will be determined by where they finish in the Premier League, the report adds.

Howe wants ‘to add five or six players to the squad’ and ‘in an ideal world’ would bring in a defensive and creative midfielder.

Newcastle remain hopeful they can land Leicester City’s James Maddison, though there is lots of competition for his signature.

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