Newcastle are looking to solve their full-back problem by making a £5m play for highly-rated Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne.
The Toon, who are having a superb season, are likely to be active in the transfer window, with manager Alan Pardew looking to strengthen his options in the defensive department.
Despite their wonderful campaign, which has been centred on their watertight defence, the full-back area is a part of the squad that Pardew has openly admitted needs strengthening. Ryan Taylor has been targeted in recent weeks by opposition managers as a weak spot, while the consistent Danny Simpson is out of contract at the end of the season and could be sold in January.
Reinforcements are definitely needed, with Clyne apparently top of Pardew’s wish list.
The former West Ham manager is a firm believer in giving a youth a chance and is very much looking to the future with his business in the window.
Newcastle scouts have been keeping a close eye on the talented Clyne over recent weeks after he further enhanced his reputation with an impressive display in Palace’s Carling Cup win at Manchester United. They were rumoured to be in the stands in Palace’s recent win at Millwall and defeat at home to Leicester where Clyne continued to show what a brilliant prospect he is.
The England Under-21 international would fit perfectly into the Newcastle side. His strength on the ball, added to his calmness in possession and his attacking instincts, should mean he will take to the Premier League like a duck to water.
The only sticking point is whether Palace, who themselves are having a fantastic season, will want to let their star defender go at this stage of the season. They are only one game away from Wembley – in the form of a winnable Carling Cup semi-final against Cardiff – and are in prime position in the Championship to have a real push for the play-offs.