Newcastle refuse to reach £60m demands for Bundesliga star as Man City destroy chance of cheaper fee

Joe Williams
Newcastle United transfer target Dominik Szoboszlai

Premier League side Newcastle United are unwilling to pay RB Leipzig’s asking price for Dominik Szoboszlai, according to reports.

The Magpies have already been busy this window with a deal for AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali all but confirmed, with his agent confirming the player is set for a medical.

And now Newcastle are wasting no time in ploughing ahead with more transfers as they continue to be linked with numerous players, including Leicester City’s James Maddison, Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters and Crystal Palace’s Joachim Andersen.

Maddison could be one they miss out on with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano today confirming that the England international has “agreed personal terms” with Newcastle’s Premier League rivals Tottenham.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is said to be “very active on this deal, trying to get it done as soon as possible” and the Geordies could have to move on to other targets.

Szoboszlai would be an interesting alternative with the Hungary international contributing six goals and eight assists as RB Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga last term.

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Despite interest from Eddie Howe’s side, German publication Bild insist that Szoboszlai ‘should definitely stay’ with his €70m (£60m) release clause proving ‘too much for Newcastle from the outset’.

Instead, the Premier League side ‘wants to make an offer of €60m’ after the attacking midfielder ‘repeatedly flirted with a change after his strong season’.

And it’s apparently Manchester City’s willingness to pay close to €100m for his team-mate Josko Gvardiol –  who Romano reported has ‘agreed personal terms’ with the Premier League champions – that means Leipzig will be ‘rid of all sales pressures’.

It has now been ‘clearly agreed internally’ that Leipzig will hold out for Szoboszlai’s release clause and not a penny less.

Newcastle reporter for The Athletic George Caulkin reckons the target will be the top six for the Geordies this season after overachieving with Champions League qualification last term.

When asked what the expectations of the owners are this season, Caulkin replied in The Athletic’s Mailbag: “Let’s take a step back. It’s mid-June, the Champions League draw hasn’t been made, and Newcastle aren’t thinking in these terms just yet.

“What I like about the club right now is not just the drive to get better — it’s the realism attached to it.

“Financially, the club budgeted for the top 10 last season. In football terms, they targeted an improvement on the year before. Even in January, they were reminding each other internally they were way ahead of schedule.

“What are they telling each other now? They’re pointing to the example of other clubs, outside the traditional top six, who have qualified for Europe and then dipped in the league as their resources became stretched. It’s likely that Newcastle will have to factor in improvement from other teams. These reminders are important because they keep everybody grounded. I promise you, this kind of stuff is being said inside and outside the boardroom.

“Getting into the Champions League was a fantastic achievement — one that brings huge benefits in terms of finance and prestige — but the long-term goal is to be in Europe every season, not just as a one-off. They’ll take this challenge and embrace it, as they have done with everything else, but they will keep their eyes on the prize, which is becoming a fixture there.

“We know the way Howe operates. He’ll attack every match and try to win, but more games in more competitions will mean more resting, more changes, more balancing. It’s going to be a new experience for many — or one we’ve not had for a long time. Can’t wait!

“Speaking personally, if you offered me sixth now, I would take it…”