Newcastle United are adding Nathan Ake to their list of targets but their January transfer plans have suddenly become more complicated.
The club will look to invest around £50 million in the market when it reopens but it has emerged that many Premier League clubs are not willing to do business with them in the next window as there is a general feeling of ill-will about their takeover - and also the harm they could inflict on their own clubs by helping Newcastle avoid relegation this season.
It means deals for players like Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli and Ross Barkley are suddenly in severe doubt before any progress has been made.
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It also means they will probably look more seriously into the loan potential of Aaron Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho and could also pursue Kieran Trippier. Juventus, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will not hold the same fears over Newcastle beating the drop, so should be more open to offers.
This is a key time in their season, with the side 19th in the Premier League, and Eddie Howe is getting to work as the new manager while waiting for a sporting director to be put in place as part of the restructure at St James’ Park.
Howe will have some say in targets that are pursued and it is understood one man he would be keen to sign is Manchester City's Ake - who he worked with at Bournemouth.
City are aware of the feeling among most elite English clubs refusing to do business with Newcastle but are not believed to be one of the teams with a strong opinion on doing so - meaning a deal might be possible.
Michael Emenalo is confident he will be the man brought in to help turn around Newcastle. His contacts and relationships within the game are key as the club look for a man to instigate season-defining signings.
It is understood Emenalo and Howe already know each other loosely through previous Russian owners. Emenalo worked under Roman Abramovich at Chelsea while Howe worked under Maxim Demim at Bournemouth.
Salah deal priority for new Liverpool sporting director
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Julian Ward’s first major job as Liverpool sporting director could be to secure a deal for Mohamed Salah.
He is to take over the role from Michael Edwards, who departs at the end of the season, and if Salah’s situation is not resolved by then it will become a priority for Ward.
He has been working as assistant sporting director so has been well aware of the ongoing drama involving Salah’s next contract, which remains unsigned as the two parties remain far from an agreement.
The type of money his agent Ramy Abbas is looking for is in the region of £400,000-a-week - but that figure is beyond anything they have paid before and shatters their pay ceiling.
They signed up Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson in recent times but Salah is much more tricky.
And Liverpool know something has to give, as he is currently regarded as the best player in the world.
Salah’s deal expires in the summer of 2023 and sources say a breakthrough in talks over an agreeable salary remains some way off.
Rodgers wants Leicester stay this season
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Brendan Rodgers has a desire to see through this season with Leicester City despite being linked with one of the most high profile jobs in football.
Manchester United have him top of their list of potential candidates to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yet have been made aware that he has little interest in taking over right now.
Rodgers has huge respect for Leicester and feels this season could yet prove to be another special one. Following on from last season’s success in the FA Cup he feels there is a genuine opportunity for more silverware in the Europa League.
He also would not want to abandon the club halfway through a season, giving them little time to replace him. And while he does have ambition to manager higher up the food chain, the preference would be to change clubs in the summer.
United will persist with giving Solskjaer chances until his job becomes untenable.
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