With just under a week left in the January transfer window, Newcastle United still want to bring some people in to bolster Eddie Howe’s squad, and two defenders are needed.
One is a centre-back, with Diego Carlos seemingly the main target, while the other is more of a left-back, or a left wing-back, where Mitchel Bakker and Robin Gosens have been named as goals for the club.
There was a train of thought that the German, currently at Atalanta, would be the one to be bought, but that stance has since shifted a bit, with the Dutchman, who was signed from Paris Saint-Germain for £6.3m in the summer, now taking the lead.
A couple of sources are pushing this, starting with TuttoMercatoWeb, who, when look at Inter’s newfound interest in Gosens, mention Newcastle.
They state ‘it will be a decisive day for the future of Robin Gosens, on whom Inter are pressing hard’, and while Newcastle interest is ‘concrete’, the English club have ‘turned to Mitchel Bakker’ regardless of the fact they reportedly already have an agreement with the Germany international on a contract.
That’s echoed by Corriere Bergamo, who state that ‘until last night’, the Magpies ‘did not know whether to sink a €35m shot’, but ‘in the end, it seems they preferred Mitchel Bakker of Bayer Leverkusen’.
What is interesting, however, is despite all this, the German press aren’t entirely convinced that the Bundesliga side will let their player go.
It’s made clear by RP-Online that ‘letting the left-back go in the winter market would make little sense’, ‘apart from the financial aspects’.
That’s because Daley Sinkgraven is injured and Piero Hincapie will be used as a centre-back while the likes of Edmond Tapsoba and Odilon Kossounou are at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Furthermore, ‘an equivalent and affordable’ replacement for Bakker is ‘also very difficult to find in the short term’.
So, going for Bakker might be what Newcastle want, but it seems Gosens could be the easier to pull off.