An update has emerged on Newcastle transfer target James Tarkowski, regarding his contractual situation at his current club.
According to The Athletic, the Burnley centre-back has decided that he will not be signing an extension at Turf Moor.
The report claims that he is willing to see out the rest of the campaign with the Clarets and give his all for the side, before leaving on a free transfer to fulfil his ambitions moving forward.
The Magpies are reportedly interested in signing the English defender and could now land him at the end of the season without paying a penny in transfer fees. Eddie Howe was recently named as Newcastle’s latest head coach and he could find his new Steve Cook by signing Tarkowski.
Howe kept Bournemouth up in the Premier League for four of his five top-flight seasons at the club and Cook was a staple of his side at centre-back. The experienced defender made 168 appearances in the top division under the 43-year-old’s management, proving himself to be a vital part of the Cherries’ team over the years.
Cook averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 6.89 or higher in Bournemouth’s four seasons of survival in the Premier League and Tarkowski could come in and prove to be a similarly influential figure at the back for Howe. The Burnley defender, who Sean Dyche previously called “outstanding”, has averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.02 or higher in his full Premier League seasons since becoming a regular in the 2017/18 campaign.
The 28-year-old has proven himself to be a reliable, impressive, Premier League defender and could be an excellent signing for Howe next summer. In those four full seasons at Turf Moor, he averaged at least 4.6 aerial battles won and 4.4 clearances made per game, highlighting his strong defensive skills to keep the ball away from the net.
This shows that, like Cook did with Howe, Tarkowski has earned the right to call himself a solid top-flight centre-back having performed to a high standard for a number of years. Therefore, he could arrive at Newcastle and be Howe’s next Cook and be a mainstay in the side at centre-back to help the Magpies push on as a club.