Newcastle told to complete centre-back signing after £35m-plus update today - pundit
Noel Whelan has urged Newcastle to add a centre-back this month as well as bringing in wing-back Robin Gosens.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested Eddie Howe’s priority must be to improve the team’s “spine” with the Magpies currently making “far too many mistakes”.
According to Sky Italia (15 January), Newcastle have agreed to triple the salary of Germany international Gosens in order to prise him from Atalanta.
A Newcastle source told Football Insider on Wednesday (19 January) that the Magpies are ready to reopen talks with Monaco over a move for centre-back Benoit Badiashile, 20, that is set to be worth in excess of £35million.
Whelan claimed Gosens could provide ample opportunities for new signing Chris Wood, but insisted Newcastle are “desperate” for centre-backs.
“Getting someone like Gosens and Badiashile is what they need, yes,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
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“Gosens could provide service for Chris Wood.
“But, going back to that Watford game, what they’re desperately in need of is centre-halves and Badiashile could fit the bill.
“They’re making far too many mistakes. The marking is all over the place, there’s no concentration – even in the last minute of the game.
“They’ve got to look at these crucial minutes and think about how many points they’ve dropped just through bad defending.
“Centre half has got to be the priority for Newcastle, fixing the spine of that team.
“It’s all very well serving Chris Wood with these wing-backs, but he will have to score three or four goals every game for Newcastle to have a chance of picking up three points.”
Gosens contributed 11 goals and six assists for Atalanta in Serie A last term.
Newcastle sit 19th in the Premier League and have conceded the second-most goals this term.