Premier League transfer spending higher than last season
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Newcastle United are reportedly planning a cut-price move for Burnley’s Dwight McNeil after growing frustrated in their attempts to sign Jack Harrison. Leeds have so far refused to entertain any offers for the winger, who had emerged as a top target for Eddie Howe this summer.
Howe moved onto former Manchester City man Harrison after failing to lure Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen. But after the Yorkshire outfit sold prized asset Raphinha to Barcelona in a £60m deal, Jesse Marsch has taken up a tough stance over Harrison and is reluctant to lose another first-team regular.
Newcastle were prepared to offer £35million for the 24-year-old, having tabled a £24m bid, but it is believed Leeds would reject any bids they receive for the former England Under-21 international. And that could force the Magpies to turn their attention to McNeil.
has taken up a tough stance over
The Burnley academy graduate, 22, is available to sign this summer after the Clarets’ relegation to the Championship, with new boss Vincent Kompany overseeing a squad overhaul.
The Sun report the Lancashire side would be looking for a fee of around £15m, which represents a much cheaper deal than what it could take to prise Harrison away from Elland Road.
McNeil struggled to find his best form last season and failed to score in the Premier League with just one assist, despite appearing in all 38 league fixtures. However, he has shown his quality in the past and has made nearly 150 top-flight appearances in his career already.
That will have not been forgotten by Newcastle, who would regard signing a young player with vast top-flight experience and homegrown status as a bargain.
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A move to Tyneside would also appeal to McNeil if he is searching for a fresh start, given that his former team-mates Chris Wood and Nick Pope are already part of the squad at St James’ Park. But they will likely face competition from Everton, Crystal Palace, West Ham and other Premier League clubs if their bid is accepted.
Howe is desperate to add more new signings to his squad this summer having only landed Sven Botman, Matt Targett and Nick Pope so far. The club’s Saudi-based owners, the Public Investment Fund, have been less active than in January when they funded an £80m spend on new faces such as Bruno Guimaraes.
And while the 44-year-old is confident of adding to his squad before the start of the season, he warned he will only sign players that fit Newcastle’s profile.
“We are now going into an area where we are still looking,” he told reporters this week. “We want to improve the squad. We are really pleased with what we have done but we know we have got more to do. But it has got to be the right one, in the right position. So it is not simple.”
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