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Newcastle United: Ben Jacobs details interest in Alan Varela

Newcastle United are interested in a move for Boca Juniors midfielder Alan Varela, Ben Jacobs has claimed.

What’s the word?

Eddie Howe is on the search for a central midfielder in the January transfer window and has reportedly identified the 21-year-old Argentinian.

Varela has made 76 appearances for Boca and could make the move to England if Newcastle step up their interest.

Do Newcastle now need to sign a midfielder?

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Speaking on NUFC Matters, Jacobs revealed the extent of Newcastle’s interest and claimed that a deal could be struck later in the window.

He said: “He’s young, but he’s not teenage-young; he’s 21 years of age, I believe, and by the summer, he’ll be 22. But I think that we have to be very careful about how much time he might need to take to Premier League football, and still whether he’s worth that kind of transfer fee.

“I haven’t made too many direct enquiries on this one, but the last time I sort of checked in which was a week or so ago, I was certainly told that the interest from Newcastle is genuine, but we’re running out of time within the window.

“I still think they’ll surprise us, Newcastle, with something, with a late move or two.”

Another Ashworth masterclass?

Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth was at Brighton when the club signed Alexis Mac Allister from Boca Juniors in 2020, with the World Cup winner developing into a top-class midfielder.

It is clear that Ashworth has an eye for talent in the region and could secure Newcastle the next prospect coming out of Buenos Aires if he secures a deal for Varela.

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Even though Newcastle may have the financial firepower to spend on big names, it is these kinds of signings that Ashworth found success with at Brighton, and if Varela develops into a top-class player at Newcastle, they will have secured a bargain in the long run even if they have to pay what may appear to be slightly over the odds now.