Door open for Newcastle United to sign Saudi star - Sources

By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

7th Nov, 2023 | 7:00am

Sources: Door open for Newcastle United to sign Saudi star

Newcastle United are ready to explore making possible loan signings from the Saudi Pro League in the January window, sources have told Football Insider.

A stand-in for banned midfielder Sandro Tonali is the clear priority for the Magpies ahead of the mid-season window.

It is believed Newcastle could negotiate a deal with Saudi clubs due to their links with the fledgling league through chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan – who is governor of the Public Investment Fund in the country.

The Saudi Arabian Sovereign Wealth Fund is a public backer of the country’s top league and took ownership of four clubs before the 2023-24 campaign kicked off.

It is believed Newcastle could use that mutual ownership to explore the possibility of bringing one of their recent big-money signings to St James’ Park temporarily.

Tonali was banned from football for 10 months by the Italian FA in October following illegal betting charges – with that suspension upheld worldwide by FIFA.

He cost the club a reported £55million in the summer window but made just 12 appearances across all competitions prior to the ban.

Football Insider revealed on 28 October that Newcastle are expected to replace Tonali with a loan signing in January.

They are unlikely to spend big on a replacement due to Financial Fair Play restrictions – which also hindered their transfer business in the most recent summer window.

The likes of Fulham star Joao Palhinha, Everton’s Amadou Onana and Man United ace Scott McTominay have all been linked with the Magpies – but deals of that magnitude are unrealistic in January.

Howe currently has the likes of Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Elliot Anderson to call on in central midfield.

Newcastle sit sixth in the Premier League following their 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday (4 November).

The Magpies are in Champions League action against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday (7 November).

In other news, Newcastle open talks over landmark St James’ Park deal.