By Wayne Veysey

18th Dec, 2019 | 9:52am

Exclusive: Newcastle set sights on signing two Everton players in January

Newcastle United are keeping close tabs on Everton defenders Mason Holgate and Lewis Gibson ahead of January, Football Insider understands.

The centre-back pair, 23 and 19 respectively, are on the radar of the north-east giants as they assess targets for the forthcoming window and next summer.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that the club have set their sights on both Holgate and Gibson amid doubts over their futures at Goodison Park.

Football Insider revealed Newcastle’s interest in Holgate last week, but his £14million price tag and recent impressive form make a January deal very difficult.

Much will depend upon the identity of the new Everton manager, which is now widely expected to be Carlo Ancelotti following a breakthrough in talks this week.

Gibson would certainly be a less complex deal as he is increasingly frustrated at his failure to break into the senior Everton squad despite winning plenty of admirers with the quality of his Under-23s performances.

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The left footed centre-back is out of contract at the end of the season and the January window gives Everton a last opportunity to secure a sizeable fee for a player they signed for £1m rising to a potential £6m from Newcastle.

Holgate began the season on the bench as ex-Everton manager Marco Silva chose Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as his first choice partnership in central defence.

But the 2015 signing from Barnsley was given his opportunity when Keane suffered a dramatic slump in form and he’s now started every league match since late October, including in central midfield in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that Steve Bruce has given the green light to January exit of Rafa regular.