Newcastle owners ‘line up January agreement’ to fix huge problem for Eddie Howe

Steve Bruce leaves position as Newcastle head coach

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Newcastle United are eager to sign Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha in the January transfer window, according to reports. The Magpies, who are poised to appoint Eddie Howe as their new manager over the coming days, currently find themselves in the battle for Premier League survival after failing to win a single match all season.

The club’s new Saudi-led ownership group will be tasked with bolstering their ranks at the turn of the year when the mid-season window rolls around.

Newcastle are expected to spend heavily in January, with the consortium in question reportedly worth in excess of £300billion thanks to the involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

A number of expensive names have been linked with the Magpies in recent weeks, including the likes of Paris Saint-Germain forward Mauro Icardi and Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

However, it seems as though Newcastle may be looking to save their pennies by landing Strakosha for a nominal fee.

The Lazio stopper has been identified by those in command at St James’ Park as one to watch in January, with their chief scout travelling to watch him play in the Europa League last month, according to The Sun.

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Newcastle have already conceded 24 goals in the Premier League this season, with a new man between the sticks said to be among the options under consideration.

The report also claims that Strakosha is looking for a new challenge after spending the entirety of his career to date with Lazio.

He will be able to leave the Italian club upon the expiry of his current deal at the end of the season.

However, Newcastle are hoping to nip ahead of the competition by securing his signature at the turn of the year.

The Tyneside club are planning to strike a pre-contract agreement with Strakosha on January 1 before offering Lazio a small fee to land him immediately.

The 26-year-old is said to be keen on joining Newcastle after only playing in the Europa League for Lazio this season, with veteran Pepe Reina their established first-choice goalkeeper in Serie A.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Howe has had any involvement in Newcastle’s decision to chase a move for Strakosha.

The former Bournemouth boss is said to have verbally agreed to join the Magpies on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

However, they are yet to reach an agreement with Howe’s preferred assistant coaches, a snag which is said to be holding up the appointment.

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Newcastle interim boss Graeme Jones has already waxed lyrical over Howe, insisting on Friday that the 43-year-old will take the club on an upward trajectory if he is confirmed as the man to replace Steve Bruce.

“Me and Roberto [Martinez] clashed with Eddie and Jason Tindall and their team many times,” Jones told reporters.

“I worked with them down at Bournemouth. I know their method of work. Eddie has managed 550 games, 200 in the Premier League and he is 43.

“He knows the league. When I worked for Jason at Bournemouth I got an inside view of their method. It is impressive and it is elite.

“If the speculation [over Howe] was correct we will transfer into that method. I felt I learned when I was down there.”

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