In Focus: Newcastle set to show ambition with moves for three England stars

According to reports in the Daily Star, Newcastle United representatives met with potential buyer Amanda Staveley over Rafa Benitez’s proposed transfer budget for the January transfer window and beyond, with moves for Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw, Andy Carroll and Iker Casillas all discussed.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Magpies owner Mike Ashley is keen for a takeover to be completed by Christmas, and the Daily Star says that significant progress has been made for Staveley’s company, PCP Capital Buyers, to do that after they entered the due diligence process.

The Daily Star says that Benitez could be handed a transfer budget of more than £100m in the New Year if the deal goes through, with moves for a number of players spoken about in the meeting with the 44-year-old financier.

With Newcastle prioritising a left-back, midfielder and striker, Shaw, Barkley and Carroll all look to be likely targets.

Why would Benitez want those three?

Firstly, they would add some much-needed Premier League experience to the squad as the Magpies look to avoid being involved in a relegation scrap towards the end of their first season back in the top flight after a one-year absence.

In addition, 22-year-old Shaw and 23-year-old Ross Barkley have lost their way a little after promising starts to their career, and Benitez may feel that with regular first team football at St James’ Park he could get the England duo back to their best on a consistent basis.

Considering Carroll turns 29 in January it would certainly be a different story for the former Toon striker, who would add some strength and presence in the air and perhaps even a plan B for Benitez’s side.

Could they get them?

While Barkley is surely destined for a club like Chelsea or Tottenham – although he could move elsewhere for guaranteed game time or even stay at Everton – Shaw certainly looks to be on his way out of Manchester United soon and he probably won’t have loads of offers.

Him and Carroll are certainly realistic additions, while the Magpies would also be pulling off a huge coup if they can convince Casillas to move to St James’ Park even though the former Real Madrid man is 36.