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Newcastle transfer news: Kalidou Koulibaly and James Tarkowski on Magpies' radar

Kalidou Koulibaly
(Image credit: PA)

Newcastle will look to bolster their defence when the transfer market reopens in January, according to reports.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) completed its takeover of the club earlier this week, buying out Mike Ashley for £305m.

The controversial deal was granted approval after the PIF succeeded in convincing the Premier League that it is separate from the Saudi state, which has been accused of numerous human rights abuses.

The new owners are already looking towards the January window as an opportunity to improve the squad.

Newcastle are still waiting for their first win this season and sit 19th in the Premier League table at the time of writing.

They have conceded a league-high 16 goals in their first seven games, and that poor defensive record has not gone unnoticed by PIF.

According to Football Insider, Newcastle are weighing up a move for Koulibaly as their first marquee signing.

The Senegal international has been identified as a potentially transformative addition to the squad.

Koulibaly has regularly been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years.

But Newcastle will hope to have a freer run at the centre-back now that he has turned 30.

Koulibaly will enter the final 18 months of his contract in January, and Napoli may consider cashing in on him if the Magpies come calling.

The Daily Telegraph reports that James Tarkowski is also on Newcastle's radar, with the Burnley stopper out of contract next summer.

The Clarets may therefore be willing to sell him in January rather than risk losing him for nothing a few months later.

The 28-year-old would be keen on a move to the northeast and Newcastle will hope negotiations with Tarkowski therefore prove to be straightforward.

In the shorter term Steve Bruce is expected to be sacked as the club's manager in the coming days, the Daily Mirror writes.

His assistant Graeme Jones will take over on a caretaker basis until a permanent replacement is found.

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