Newcastle United preparing sensational transfer for Champions League winner: report

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St. James Park on May 22, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Newcastle United are retuning to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years this season, and boss Eddie Howe is looking to add some essential experience to his current squad in the form of a Champions League winner. 

Out of their current squad, Newcastle United have 10 players who have played in Europe's premier competition, though for the likes of Alexander Isak, they have minimal appearances (one), while Martin Dubravka's solitary season in the Champions League came in 2010/11. 

As a result, Eddie Howe wants to bring in some Champions League experience to his squad ahead of Newcastle's European adventure, and what better way to do so than with a winner of the competition?

According to Spanish outlet, Newcastle United want to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente, with Eddie Howe wanting him "at all costs". 

Llorente, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2018, albeit playing just once during that European campaign, has been heavily linked with a move to Saudi Arabia this summer, with Al-Ahli making Atletico a £20m offer for the Spaniard.

However, Newcastle could be set to hijack that deal with an offer of their own, as Eddie Howe looks to bolster his midfield with the 28-year-old. 

Newcastle United target Marcos Llorente of Atletico de Madrid looks on during the LaLiga Santander match between Atletico de Madrid and UD Almeria at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on April 16, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Newcastle want to bring in Marcos Llorente this summer (Image credit: Getty Images)

A versatile player, Llorente is just as comfortable playing deep in front of a back four as he is in advanced positions, as a box-to-box midfielder, or even someone deployed in wide areas. Indeed, Diego Simeone has often used him at right-wing back and right-back when needed, though he is most effective in the middle.

Despite Al-Ahli's offer, Llorente still has four more years remaining on his contract at Atleti, with Transfermarkt valuing him at £30m. Newcastle will need to present an attractive offer to the player himself, though, with Al-Ahli offering a lucrative contract for him to sign in the Middle East.

That might prove a stumbling block in negotiations, with Newcastle United reluctant to break their wage structure. While Sandro Tonali slightly subverts that thinking with his salary, it's still nowhere near the level of money being offered to players to move to Saudi Arabia. 

Newcastle United target Marcos Llorente of Spain looks on during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 2 match between Spain and Switzerland at La Romareda on September 24, 2022 in Zaragoza, Spain.

Marcos Llorente has played 18 times for Spain (Image credit: Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

More Newcastle United stories

In FourFourTwo's Season Preview, we take a look at how all 92 clubs in the top four tiers of English football will fare in the upcoming campaign - including how Newcastle plan to disrupt the 'big six' once again.

We Are Newcastle United is nearing its release date, with the Amazon documentary going behind the scenes at the club.

Meanwhile, when tactically analysing how Sandro Tonali fits in at St. James' Park, it's clear that the Italian will solve a huge problem. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.