Newcastle United supporters have been in relatively high spirits in the Transfer Tavern during the international break such has been their side’s fine start to the season.
The North East giants have won three of their opening seven Premier League games and indeed drew 1-1 with Liverpool in their last outing prior to the fortnight’s interruption, a start which sees Rafa Benitez’s side comfortably lodged inside the top half of the division.
The Magpies will seek to record another victory when they travel to Southampton on Sunday, and there may be further good news to follow for our resident Newcastle fans if a recent report from Tuttomercato (via talkSPORT) is anything to go by.
And that’s because they report that Benitez’s men, alongside Premier League rivals Burnley and West Brom, are considering a January move for Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo.
The 31-year-old moved to the San Siro all the way back in 2011 after impressing for Japanese side FC Tokyo, and has since gone on to play 202 games for the Italian giants, in which time he has scored 11 goals and laid on 18 assists from left-back.
However, just 16 Serie A appearances last term and just four starts in seven so far this time round suggest that the Japan international is maybe not first-choice under Luciano Spalletti at the moment, and with his contract up in 2019, his future at the club remains unclear.
And it’s uncertainty which the aforementioned Premier League trio are seeking to exploit, with reports suggesting that they are all keeping an eye on Nagatomo’s situation at Inter ahead of a possible move in January.
Benitez saw Paul Dummett suffer an injury on the opening day against Tottenham and has since used centre-back Chancel Mbemba and right-back Javier Manquillo at left-back, which could suggest that more depth is needed in that position, and as such a move for Nagatomo could well take place in the New Year.
Landlord’s verdict: Newcastle United struggled to get transfer targets through the door in the summer, but it doesn’t appear to have hindered them too greatly given their start to the season.
However, the left-back department may be of slight concern given that Paul Dummett suffered an injury after just seven minutes against Tottenham on the opening day, and with the likes of Chancel Mbemba and Javier Manquillo deputising, both un-natural left-backs, more competition may be needed.
And Inter Milan’s Yuto Nagatomo could provide the answer, what with the experienced 31-year-old reportedly stalling on a new deal at the San Siro, with his current one set for expiration in 2019.
With Burnley and West Brom also thought to be interested, it won’t be easy for the Magpies hierarchy to lure him to St James’ Park, but it’s certainly worth a go given their lack of depth in that department.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!