Newcastle United supporters came into the January window expecting big things from their new mega-rich owners but sadly, reality has hit them hard.
The Magpies have still only won a solitary game all season and with now under two weeks to go in the transfer market, have just Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood to show for their troubles.
This has been a topsy-turvy month for the Toon so far but there is an expectation that a number of deals will be wrapped up before the deadline on January 31st.
One of the biggest priorities for Newcastle in the window has been bringing in one or two central defenders.
Sadly, Sven Botman is now unlikely to join the northeast side this month but they are now also facing significant difficulties in their plans to bring Sevilla defender, Diego Carlos, to St James’ Park.
This is a deal that has been in the offing for a number of days now with the player even believed to have handed in a transfer request at his Spanish employers.
However, there has been a big twist to the tale. Despite Newcastle initially appearing to be the frontrunner, they are now facing competition for his signature.
The news was revealed by Kaveh Solhekol on a live edition of Sky Sports News’ Transfer Show on Wednesday evening.
He said: “We’ve been told another Premier League club is trying to sign Diego Carlos and they have made a bid for him.”
The Sky Sports reporter continued: “Our information is that the player would like to leave Sevilla and to come and play for Newcastle, so much so he handed in a transfer request yesterday (Tuesday).
“So it looked like there were positive signs that he could be going to Newcastle. Then another Premier League club came in for him today, they have matched Newcastle’s £30m bid. That has complicated the situation.”
After already missing out on their number one target in Botman, this is news that will severely deflate and scare not only the Toon Army but also the club’s recruitment team and hierarchy.
A deal to bring Carlos to the club was far from plane sailing in the first place but it did look as though Newcastle were making important breakthroughs in a bid to land his services this week.
However, that has now been thrown into disarray by one of their divisional rivals and if it was someone in the Premier League who stole him away from them, it would only make matters even worse.
This is a devastating blow to the club’s transfer plans and although they do have a number of other options at centre-back, including Benoit Badiashile of Monaco, Gleison Bremer at Torino, and Felix Uduokhai at Augsburg, Carlos was right at the top of their list.
His addition would and could still be a significant one for many reasons. Not only would it prove that Newcastle have the ability to pull players from top clubs in European football, but also because their defence has been diabolical this term.
They have kept just one clean sheet this season – against Burnley – and have shipped 43 top-flight strikes throughout 2021/22. For context, only fellow relegation rivals Norwich have a worse record than them.
As a result, signing Carlos was vital this month and if another Premier League side prises him away instead, it will leave the fanbase demoralised and frightened about their prospects for the rest of the campaign.