Newcastle United have set their sights on securing the services of out-of-favour Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips in January, according to the Northern Echo.
Due to financial constraints, the Magpies will be cautious in their transfer activity during the forthcoming window.
However, manager Eddie Howe has pinpointed the defensive-midfield position as an area for reinforcement.
The Bavarian giants are currently searching for a holding midfielder and may intensify their pursuit of Phillips if they fail to secure the signature of Joao Palhinha.
Newcastle significantly bolstered their attacking midfield options in the summer with the club-record signing of Sandro Tonali.
However, the squad’s central midfielders are predominantly more attacking, creating a void in the defensive role.
Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes has been deployed as the anchorman and has excelled there.
But he is at his best in a more advanced role, and the Magpies are keen to bring in a natural defensive presence to shield their backline and allow Guimaraes to move up the pitch.
Newcastle have been interested in a defensive midfielder for a while and reportedly tried to sign Declan Rice this summer.
They were derailed by Arsenal’s willingness to spend over £100 million, and Phillips remains an attractive alternative.
The 27-year-old was one of the finest defensive midfielders in England when he completed a high-profile £42 million switch from Leeds United to Manchester City in 2022.
However, Phillips has endured a frustrating spell at City, making just two Premier League starts for the reigning champions over one-and-a-half seasons with Rodri firmly ahead of him in the pecking order.
Phillips opted to remain with City this summer, hoping to break into Pep Guardiola’s line-up, but his fortunes have not improved.
The Leeds-born midfielder did not get a look in after Rodri’s three-match suspension for a red card against Nottingham Forest.
Consequently, it appears increasingly likely that he may seek an exit in the January transfer window.
Newcastle’s recruitment team is poised to move if Phillips becomes available.
They could secure his services through a permanent transfer or an initial loan deal before signing him next summer.
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