Newcastle fans in the Tavern will be buoyed by the news that Rafael Benitez is set to extend his stay at St. James Park as the Magpies look to climb towards the European places next season.
Transfer plans should be getting underway as the season nears its conclusion with the Newcastle faithful eager to see Mike Ashley sell the club or back Benitez in the market.
Reports in the Mirror are suggesting the Magpies will line up a move for West Brom centre-back Jonny Evans following the Baggies’ impending relegation.
However, surely Evans would favour a move to either Manchester City or Arsenal if he is to leave the Hawthorns, having been linked with both in the past.
Also in grave danger of relegation are Southampton – and many of the Saints’ key players could be cherry-picked by Premier League clubs if they don’t avoid the drop – Newcastle should get in on the act.
Instead of targeting Evans, they could switch their attention to Saints defender – Wesley Hoedt. The Netherlands international arrived from Lazio in the summer for £15m to partner Virgil van Dijk.
The 24-year-old is valued at £13.2m by Transfermarkt and would probably be unwilling to play Championship football next season; he could be available.
Hoedt is physically gifted but also has the technical ability to suit Benitez’s style of play, able to marshal a backline as well as prove a threat in both boxes. Things may not have worked out all too well on the south coast but Hoedt clearly is a talent and could do with a change of scenery.
The Saints could be forced into a sale if they do get relegated, one that could benefit Newcastle greatly.
Newcastle fans, would you like to see Wesley Hoedt in black and white next year? Let us know
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