Newcastle Transfer Targets for summer 2023: England stars to sign ahead of Champions League return?

Newcastle will be looking to build on their mightily impressive 22/23 Premier League campaign by further bolstering a squad that will have to cope with the rigours of competing in The Champions League-as well as across all domestic competitions-next season.

Last summer, Newcastle fans strapped themselves in and prepared for the big names to arrive on Tyneside as the extent of their strong financial backing became clear. Trippier was the first marquee signing in January 2022 and the rest were supposed to follow suit. However, the club found it difficult to make early inroads last summer in a very competitive market. That may have been due to a strategic approach, ensuring that players signed for the right reasons, and not just a healthy signing on fee.

Newcastle United team 2023
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The club did manage to significantly improve in certain areas, with Nick Pope, Alexander Isak and Sven Botman coming in and making significant contributions last season. But what of this summer? The club will surely look to be even more active, and having secured a place competing against Europe’s elite they offer the allure of Champions League football, reaping the rewards that accompany such a feat.

Eddie Howe has done a magnificent job, but he will be acutely aware that it is highly unlikely that Chelsea-under the tutelage of Pochetino-Liverpool and even Spurs will be as below par next season as they were last. That means Newcastle must once again supplement their ranks with quality of the highest order, not squad players but players who can make a difference and improve them.

So, who will be the players targeted to help preserve the club’s recently acquired seat amongst The Premier League’s First-Class operators? Here we look at the top transfer targets for summer 2023.

Marc Cucurella – Defender – Chelsea

It’s no secret that Newcastle are a fantastic attacking team. In fact, you needn’t look much beyond their recent 5-1 victory to kick off the 23/24 season for confirmation of this. However, they do struggle at the back, and this vulnerability has cost them dearly in the recent past. Therefore – enter Marc Cucurella, one of the latest Newcastle transfer targets. This 25-year-old left-back plays for Chelsea right now, as you probably know. And this is causing difficulties concerning the signing terms, mainly because Chelsea is a rival club.

Cucurella Newcastle Transfer Targets

Then again, with Chelsea having inked Caicedo for a huge fee, they need to offload some players to help recoup the funds that have been spent. So this alone makes Cucurella a hot prospect for Newcastle, and a loan deal with a possible obligation to buy him at the end of the 23/24 season is not off the table. In fact, this is the only feasible move due to the Financial Fair Play rules, which would quite possibly prevent Newcastle from signing Cucurella for an outright fee.

Kevin Zefi – Winger –  Inter Milan

Although many of the Newcastle transfer targets right now are defenders, it seems Newcastle aren’t done trying to bolster their attacking ranks just yet. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, and we know this because the club is linked with Kevin Zefi right now. Zefi plays as a winger for Inter Milan, and at just 18 years of age, he is an extremely promising youngster in this particular position. In fact, Zefi is one of two Irish targets that Newcastle could snag before the summer transfer period closes. 

As for the likelihood of this deal being completed, I’d say it’s pretty likely given that Kevin Zefi has reportedly been in talks with Newcastle in recent weeks. Additionally, since Zefi is now 18 years of age, Newcastle is officially allowed to sign Zefi now that the rather stringent ‘Brexit rules’ won’t apply anymore. And finally, I believe that Kevin Zefi is still a strong target given that Newcastle has put massive efforts into their youth scouting network in recent years. 

So if such a young talent like Zefi is up for grabs, we can be certain that Newcastle have him on their radar.

Cathal Heffernan – Defender – AC Milan

Cathal Heffernan is the second Irish star that Newcastle are hoping to bring to the club within the next couple of weeks. And much like Zefi, Heffernan has only recently turned 18, which makes him fair game for a Premier League club to swoop in and give him an offer. Of course, he is a defender too, which is still an area that Newcastle wants to improve before August is finished. And given his age, Heffernan could be brought to the club for a very low fee, which would be ideal for Newcastle since they have already spent big money this summer.

With this in mind, I’ve yet to give you the real kicker! In recent days, news has broken involving an official contract offer from Newcastle to Heffernan. If these reports are true, Heffernan could be on the brink of agreeing to a two-year contract at Newcastle, with an additional 12 months open to negotiations once these two years are over. At the same time, it’s expected that Newcastle will put Heffernan in with the under-21s so that he can develop and be ready for the senior squad reasonably quickly.

Once again, this aligns with Newcastle’s ambitions to snag promising young players and build them up to become first-team stars. So with these factors in mind, I’d say that Cathal Heffernan could be the first man to officially become a Magpie out of all the guys mentioned here.

Kieran Tierney

Eddie Howe appeared to prefer the solidity of Dan Burn to Matty Targett last season. But it is fair to say that he would prefer to add more balance to the side by finding a player with a bit more mobility and someone who can offer width going forward without neglecting defensive duties. Essentially, a player who provides the same qualities as Tripper, but on the left. Tierney could be that player. He showed real promise when he joined Arsenal, and although he has had his share of criticism, he still made 27 Premier League appearances last season. How likely a deal will be with a rival like Arsenal-who are still in talks with the player-is another question.

Connor Gallagher

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Talk continues to surround the future of the England midfielder as Pochettino’s arrival could spark a clear out at Stamford Bridge. It is thought that Howe would welcome the all-action midfielder whose engine and box-to-box style would fit his strategic approach. Gallagher recently played down a move in a recent interview, insisting he loves Chelsea. However, business is business, and if Gallagher’s services are not needed, he may fancy Champions League football with the Toon. Another interesting point is whether a move for Gallagher hinges on the outcome of the pursuit of Maddison.

Antonee Robinson

It is no surprise that the left back has caught Newcastle’s eye, given that both Milan clubs and Manchester City have been credited with an interest in the Fulham man. The 25-year-old American would at the very least offer competition to Dan Burn and would represent low risk in terms of experience as he played in all but three of Fulham’s Premier League games last season. It is no secret that the North East club are in the market for a full back and if they can secure his services for under £30million, it may be seen as good business.

Edmond Tapsoba

Coming from Burkina Faso, Edmond Tapsoba is the sort of player who can bring consistency at the back for any team. The Bayer Leverkusen player is among the key players at coach Xabi Alonso’s disposal, and it’s no wonder why top clubs around Europe are eyeing him as a potential new addition to their ranks.

Edmond has been defending Bayer Leverkusen’s colors since the 2019/20 season. Since then, he made a total of 102 appearances, scoring on three occasions. The 2022/23 campaign was undoubtedly his best yet, which didn’t go unnoticed by coach Eddie Howe.

Following the injury of fan-favorite Sven Botman, coach Howe is now left with a massive hole at the back that he simply has to fill before time runs out on the transfer window of the 2023 summer. According to Fabrizio Romano, Edmond Tapsoba is a key favorite to fill in Botman’s shoes at St James’ Park.

Edmond Tapsoba’s has a price tag of £50m, which Tottenham Hotspur are also eager to pay. If Newcastle want to beat Spurs for his signature, they’ll have to move quickly, as there isn’t too much time left on the clock for the deal to go through.

Antonio Silva

After only a season with Benfica, Antonio Silva has a chance to make a giant leap forward by signing a contract with the Magpies. If the Edmont Tapsoba deal falls through, coach Eddie Howe will swiftly turn to Silva as a potential savior. Sven Botman isn’t returning any time soon, so having a quality defender is a must if Newcastle are to put up a decent fight against Premier League’s top clubs.

At the age of 19, Antonio Silva is definitely one for the future. He had a fantastic season with Benfica in the Portuguese league, making a total of 30 appearances, scoring three goals, and getting booked on only five occasions. Such a confident display at the back is rare for a 19-year-old, so coach Eddie How will surely get his money’s worth out of Antonio Silva.

The Portuguese defender will probably cost the Magpies £40m. His current market value, according to transfermarkt, is set at €45m but the Portuguese side will definitely want more for their starlet.

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire Transfer
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According to recent rumors, Harry Maguire is option #3 to fill in the Sven Botman-shaped hole at the back of Newcastle’s defense. The 30-year-old former Manchester United captain is deemed unworthy to not only wear the Red Devils’ captain’s armband but to also be among the starters. Manchester United paid a giant sum for his services and the team will surely be looking to cut its losses with a potential transfer of their player for a fair pay.

However, it seems that the Magpies aren’t ready to break the bank on this one, as coach Eddie Howe already sent a season-long loan deal for the 30-year-old’s services. As expected, Manchester United turned down the offer, but with time running out, there’s a high chance that the Magpies will be forced to hit the Red Devils with a much more serious offer.

Article by Shaun Rye