General view inside St. James' Park before the Newcastle v Watford match, August 2019
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Newcastle United TT Roundup: Toon tracking LOSC Lille’s Victor Osimhen and open to Rolando Aarons’ exit, while Juventus & PSG interested in Martin Dubravka

In this instalment of our TT Roundup, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Newcastle United recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.

Lille's Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring their first goal v Chelsea - Champions League - Group H

Toon track LOSC Lille’s Victor Osimhen

According to the Chronicle, Newcastle are keeping track of Victor Osimhen’s progress with LOSC Lille, having joined the Ligue 1 side from Belgian outfit Charleroi this summer for £10.8million.

Osimhen is claimed to have impressed the Toon’s scouting department with his efforts in France, as Head of Recruitment Steve Nickson and his team compile a shortlist of potential targets for head coach Steve Bruce to consider ahead of the winter transfer market.

Bruce is expected to have funds made available to him so that the Magpies boss can look to add another option in central midfield and a winger, but is not emphasising wholesale changes in January and will instead only look to make one or two additions.

Verdict

Newcastle have shown a clear need for another striker to help support club-record arrival Joelinton, as the Brazilian has only scored once since first wearing the Magpies’ coveted number nine jersey and has struggled to fashion many efforts on target most weeks (WhoScored).

But whether Lille would be willing to sell Osimhen after what would be just six-months would remain to be seen, and if they do agree to negotiate a price, it would likely be a hefty sum given the forward has struck seven goals in ten Ligue 1 games along with penning two assists thus far (TransferMarkt).

Lille are also unbeaten in the league whenever the 20-year-old Nigeria international has written his name on the scoresheet, with Osimhen’s strikes against FC Nantes, AS Saint-Etienne, SCO Angers and RC Strasbourg Alsace directly contributing to wins.

Newcastle to listen to offers for Rolando Aarons

Newcastle United's Rolando Aarons in action with St Etienne's Mathieu Debuchy

According to the Chronicle, Newcastle are willing to listen to offers for 2021-free agents Rolando Aarons, Henri Saivet and Achraf Lazaar in a bid to drastically trim the wage bill at St. James’ Park.

The Magpies are also set to say their goodbyes to Ki Sung-Yueng, Federico Fernandez, Rob Elliot, Javier Manquillo and Jack Colback next summer, with the quintet of fringe players out of contract in 2020 and currently with no guarantees over earning extensions to their current terms.

Italian Serie B side Cosenza Calcio have been informed they can purchase Lazaar at the end of his loan spell with them, where the Moroccan left-back has featured for just 83-minutes this season from a possible 900 (TransferMarkt).

Aarons, meanwhile, has struggled to establish himself with loan side Wycombe Wanderers, but started his first League One game under Gareth Ainsworth on Saturday against Sunderland, following two substitute appearances. The 23-year-old failed to score or record an assist as his temporary side beat the Black Cats 1-0, however.

Verdict

Newcastle listening to offers for Lazaar and Aarons is only natural with the pair part of the clutch of senior players that were omitted from Bruce’s 25-man Premier League squad, and struggling to gain minutes at their loan sides. The same goes for Saivet, who did not leave St. James’ Park on a temporary deal when his name was not listed in the Magpies’ squad list.

Allowing Manquillo, Fernandez and Ki to leave for free next summer would take away three options at Bruce’s disposal, but the Toon boss has rarely turned to either, with Fernandez playing just 23 minutes in the league this season while Ki last started a game in August and Manquillo against Brighton (WhoScored).

Ciaran Clark has also moved above Fernandez in Bruce’s pecking order with back-to-back starts against Manchester United and Chelsea, while Matty Longstaff has overtaken Ki in the Toon first-team fold, as well.

Newcastle United's Martin Dubravka v Chelsea

PSG & Juventus interested in Martin Dubravka

According to The Athletic, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus hold a tentative interest in Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, but are yet to firm up their advances for the Toon star with an offer to the North East outfit.

PSG were linked with the Slovakian in the summer (Kicker) as they discussed a permanent deal for Kevin Trapp to re-join Eintracht Frankfurt, while Aston Villa, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, AS Monaco and FC Porto were also credited with interest (Daily Mail) in the 30-year-old shot-stopper.

The Magpies have since held regular discussions with Dubravka to extend his contract beyond its current 2022 deadline, and it is expected that the 22-cap international putting pen to paper will end the interest of PSG and Juve.

Verdict

Saturday’s showing against Chelsea proved why Dubravka is seemingly so highly-rated by some of Europe’s leading sides, as the former Sparta Prague ‘keeper denied Frank Lampard’s Blues on six occasions as they unleashed eight efforts on target (WhoScored) – only being beaten by a low effort by Marcos Alonso.

Dubravka has also played the full ninety minutes in each of his Premier League outings, and has not missed a top-flight fixture since making his debut 59 games ago (TransferMarkt) while keeping 18 clean sheets.

The 30-year-old is the only player to have played each available minute in the league under Bruce, as well, and has played the sixth-most passes of any Newcastle player while misplacing the joint-least short balls with one after nine games.

Newcastle fans, does Bruce need to sign another forward and central midfielder in January? Let us know in the comments below…

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Newcastle United TT Roundup: Toon tracking LOSC Lille’s Victor Osimhen and open to Rolando Aarons’ exit, while Juventus & PSG interested in Martin Dubravka
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