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Newcastle showing “interest” in Youri Tielemans

Newcastle United could well be looking to strengthen their midfield ranks before the end of the month, with Eddie Howe seemingly keen to secure a quality recruit to aid in the quest for Champions League qualification.

According to The Athletic, a new recruit to help bolster the current options in midfield is seemingly something of a priority, with Leicester City contract rebel Youri Tielemans having been named as one of those that the Magpies are watching closely.

The 25-year-old had previously been a reported target for the Tynesiders during the summer, with CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs stating at the time that the Foxes had valued the Belgian at around £30m.

The playmaker’s future now appears even more uncertain at present with just six months remaining on his existing deal, which hints that a potential cut-price fee could likely be agreed this month, or that a free transfer exit could be on the cards at the end of the season.

According to Keith Downie – who was speaking to GIVEMESPORT – Newcastle could well be in line to make an approach for the former Monaco man, having seemingly been admirers of the 25-year-old over an extended period of time.

The Sky Sports reporter stated: “Tielemans is a player they’ve had a long-standing interest in, and I would be surprised if they don’t go for him. I think it would be a mistake if they don’t. I just think he would be perfect. What he would do is he would raise the standard moving forward as well.”

The one-time Anderlecht ace would provide a real cutting edge to Newcastle in the final third, having scored four goals and laid on one assist in 24 games in all competitions this term. He would also offer a real creative presence, with seven big chances created and an average of 1.1 key passes per game in the Premier League.

Such ball-playing quality has ensured that Tielemans could well prove a “sensational signing” for the St James’ Park outfit, according to pundit Tam McManus. He also offers the benefit of providing an effective screen in front of the back four, having averaged 2.1 tackles per game this season, along with winning 71% of his aerial duels.

Snapping up such a combative presence could well allow Howe to form a menacing midfield partnership involving the £35k-per-week ace and Joelinton, with the latter also a truly relentless asset in the middle of the park.

The Brazilian powerhouse has also laid bare his ball-winning prowess, averaging 2.6 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per top-flight match this term. He mirrors Tielemans in recording 1.1 key passes per game, in addition to creating four big chances.

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The duo could complement each other nicely. The Belgian might take on a more deep-lying, creative role – showcased by his ranking in the top 18% in Europe among those in his position for attempted passes – while Joelinton can offer a more dynamic, box-to-box presence, as he ranks in the top 2% for touches in the opposition penalty area to illustrate his attacking intent.

Amid fears over the potential loss of Bruno Guimaraes to injury, having another impressive midfield asset to rely upon – such as Tielemans – could well be vital for Howe and Newcastle in the second half of the season.