Newcastle fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of European football next season given the calibre of players their club have been linked with. Having managed to muster an 11th-placed finish, just seven points off European football, there is belief that continental competition will arrive for the first time in 10 years if they recruit well. Express Sport takes a look at their potential XI.
Martin Dubravka has been a superb servant to Newcastle ever since his move in 2018, but with Freddie Woodman and Karl Darlow set to depart, Pope’s addition adds much-needed competition.
A £12million signing from Burnley, the 6ft 6in giant has amassed over 140 Premier League appearances for the Clarets and comes with a huge pedigree having amassed eight England caps.
The Soham-born star is considered an upgrade on Dubravka and will likely slot into the first team seamlessly.
And having won Burnley’s Player of the Year award twice whilst also being in the 2019-20 Premier League Team of the Year, he should be between the sticks at St. James’ Park for years to come.
Defence: Trippier, BOTMAN, Burn, Targett
Pope will be joined by fellow England international Kieran Trippier, who was in excellent form for the Magpies before injury brought his season to a standstill.
Sven Botman will be the third big signing of the summer after the Tyneside outfit reportedly agreed a fee of around £35m for his services from French outfit Lille.
Another centre-back could be sought after, however Dan Burn’s sensational form since his £10m move from Brighton in the winter window means that attention can be turned elsewhere for the time being.
And Matt Targett will follow up his loan move last year after moving permanently for £15m at the start of the month.
Midfield: Guimaraes, PAQUETA, Joelinton
Bruno Guimaraes will always be seen as the first major signing of the new Newcastle era, with his midfield virtuoso being one of the main reasons for the Magpies’ rise under Howe.
He will likely be joined by fellow Joelinton, who has been a man reformed ever since he dropped into central midfield.
Another midfielder will most likely be needed to compliment the South American heroes, with plenty being linked to the English giants due to their financial state.
And that man could be Lucas Paqueta – another Brazilian and former team-mate of Guimaraes at Lyon, who could come in for a fee of around £43m.
Attack: RAPHINHA, CALVERT-LEWIN, Saint-Maximin
The Brazilian revolution at St. James’ Park may not stop with persistent links to Raphinha becoming more and more prevalent recently.
The Leeds star would join for a fee of £65m if he was to make the move, with the Whites not budging on the valuation of their prized asset.
The other wing could allow pressure to be taken off of Allan Saint-Maximin, who would be at his best with more space to drive into before turning defenders inside out.
And with Chris Wood failing to impress since his £25m move in January, Callum Wilson may be given competition in Dominic Calvert-Lewin – with the England international likely to be on the move with Everton struggling with FFP issues.