Newcastle United have reportedly offered Arsenal an unlikely helping hand as they look to round off their January transfer business.
The Magpies have endured a frustrating window thus far, but they do now have two more signings in the pipeline. Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is undergoing a medical today, while Brighton’s Dan Burn looks set to move too.
And according to The Telegraph, one final addition is wanted by the financial superpower after that pair.
That’s because Eddie Howe desires further firepower to help get his side out of the Premier League relegation battle.
With options on that front limited, they’ve swopped for someone they know they can get – Eddie Nketiah.
The 22-year-old is into the final six months of his contract with the Gunners. He’d therefore attracted interest from Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
After neither had made a move for the soon-to-be free agent, his club had become resigned to losing him for nothing at the end of the season.
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However, Newcastle look set to relieve them of that fate and give them some cash for Nketiah now.
It’s claimed the transfer has been quietly worked on for ‘some time’. And now it looks close to being completed.
Nketiah is expected to travel north at the weekend, with no fixtures in the way, to finalise the move.
That will be a welcome boost because although Guimaraes is set to join too, the Toon have had to admit defeat in the chase for Jesse Lingard.
They were said to be hopeful that Manchester United would lower their £16.5 loan asking price for the attacker. But as that hasn’t happened, they walked away from talks.
Newcastle may have second option
Meanwhile, another report has claimed West Ham will step up their pursuit of Duje Caleta-Car before Monday’s transfer deadline and could therefore allow Issa Diop to join Newcastle.
Both the Hammers and the Magpies have been searching for defensive recruits throughout the January window. Newcastle have already added full-back Kieran Trippier, but they are desperately seeking a centre-back.
West Ham have looked stable at the back for large parts this season. However, a long-term injury to Angelo Ogbonna coupled with recent defeats to Leeds United and Manchester United has raised concern.
As such, both sides are chasing a new central defender before the cut-off on Monday evening. And that could cause a transfer train…
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Jonny Williams sends message to Swindon Town supporters after 2-1 win v Port Vale
Swindon Town got their noses in front with a 2-1 win in the first leg of their League Two play-off semi final against Port Vale.
A Harry McKirdy brace put the Robins in a very commanding position before James Wilson’s 83rd minute finish, from close range, set the tie up perfectly heading to Vale Park on Thursday.
Swindon won their last four league games on the bounce to come from the back of the pack to book their spot in the play-offs, and Ben Garner’s men are arguably the most dangerous of the four sides in the final third.
Jonny Williams has been involved in many high profile encounters for club and country in his career, and the 28-year-old took to Instagram to express his emotions after the first leg.
He wrote: “Proud of this team.
“Big win in the first leg in an amazing atmosphere.
“Well done @harrymckirdy on fire.
“Onto Thursday now.”
Williams has chipped in with five goals and seven assists in all competitions for the Robins this term, and will be optimistic about his chances of playing in the World Cup, should Wales seal qualification via the play-offs, this winter.
In combination with the likes of Jack Payne, Louie Barry and McKirdy, the Robins will be expecting to get on the scoresheet once again in the second leg.
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Williams has performed very well in play-off campaigns in the past, memorably so for Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic respectively.
It was surprising to see the 28-year-old drop to League Two level this season, but Ben Garner has managed the creative midfielder’s minutes very well, to ensure the 32-time Wales international is fit and firing for the most important games of the campaign.
Williams provided the assist for McKirdy’s opener on Sunday afternoon, with a pinpoint corner delivery towards the near post, the Welshman’s quality, above the level, could go on to play a huge role in deciding what is a very evenly matched semi final tie on Thursday evening.
Nedum Onuoha makes honest claim about QPR’s current squad of players
Former Queens Park Rangers defender Nedum Onuoha has admitted that he is hoping that the club’s current squad of players will be able to learn a lesson from their drop-off in form during the latter stages of the 2021/22 campaign.
The R’s put themselves in a great position to qualify for the play-offs by producing a host of positive performances in the first half of the season.
However, QPR were unable to maintain their consistency in the second-tier following the turn of the year as they eventually were forced to settle for an 11th place finish in the league standings.
With current manager Mark Warburton set to leave the club upon the expiry of his contract, the R’s will be keen to draft in an adequate replacement for the 59-year-old in the not-too-distant future.
By handing over the reins to an individual before the transfer window opens, QPR will give their new boss the opportunity to stamp his own authority on the club’s squad.
Making reference to the existing members of QPR’s team, Onuoha has revealed that he is hoping that they will learn from the experience of missing out on the chance of securing promotion via the play-offs.
Speaking to Sports Mole, Onuoha said: “Once you start losing form, there’s nothing you can do that guarantees you’ll just get it back, especially in a division where there isn’t that much that separates each team, and sometimes it’s just a case of belief.
“When it’s Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, a month might pass and you’ve lost six games in a row in a blink of an eye.
“It was a shame that they fell off like that, but at the end of the day, that is the nature of football, and I’m hoping for some of those young players it’s a lesson.”
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Despite the fact that QPR have yet to find a replacement for Warburton, they have already made some alterations to their squad as six players are set to leave upon the expiry of their respective contracts.
The R’s hopes of moving forward as a club could depend on whether they are able to keep the likes of Chris Willock, Rob Dickie and Ilias Chair at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Willock provided 18 direct goal contributions in the Championship last season while Dickie and Chair also produced some positive performances at this level.
By assessing the reasons behind the club’s recent demise, QPR’s players may avoid making the same mistakes next season if their side are in the same position.