Pep wants another striker amid Newcastle’s interest 

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Pep Guardiola after sealing the deal of Haaland and Alvarez now wants AC Milan’s conman Rafael Leao. The forward has previously been linked with Eddie Howe’s Newcastle as well as with Liverpool. 

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini in a press conference referred to the Portuguese international as “untouchable”. With a release clause of £150m, Milan will make an astronomical proposal to Leao which can triple his current salary.  

Pep vs Newcastle 

Signing Leao always looked like a difficult operation for Newcastle because of their restricted budget to perform under the guidelines of FFP. Now it seems almost impossible for the magpies as they face competition from Pep Guardiola’s Man City. 

Leao plays on the left-winger but mostly prefers centre-forward roles. Newcastle’s attacking options lack consistency with Wilson, Wood, and Joelinton (dropped to midfield) unable to provide the desired edge. Allan Saint-Maximin is the only reliable option in terms of attack but he plays on LW which doesn’t make him a natural striker. 

Newcastle this summer should pursue other targets. Eddie Howe has already proved what he can do without signing big names. Escaping the relegation battle and finishing 11th was a mammoth task.  

Leao is a promising talent, but he’s not ready for a big move just like Joao Felix’s move to Athletico Madrid. Playing conditions in Italy and England is completely different accompanied by the fast pace of the game. If City opts to buy him for a fee lower than his release clause, the transfer would still cost a lot. 

Whom should Newcastle go for? 

There are plenty of other players who can improve Newcastle’s attacking options massively. Maxwell Cornet of relegated Burnley holds a release clause of £17.5 million and would be perfect competition for Chris Wood. 

The only thing Newcastle can’t offer is European game time, even though they have strong finances to sign lucrative deals. Other competitors of Newcastle have the edge in the Champions League or Europa League for next season. 

But the signings of Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes have once again ignited the torch of hope at St. James Park. Tripper with his free-kicks and Bruno accompanied by Joelinton’s revival have produced some serious performances that can attract some serious talents. The vision of Newcastle’s new owners is quite clear & some big names would like to be a part of the project.  

This summer, even though major reinforcements are needed Howe still would’ve to be careful with how they spend. Breaking the FFP will have its consequences just like Man City who were banned from the champions league for 2 seasons.

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