It's been a quiet couple of days as far as Newcastle United transfer news is concerned, but there has been a little bit of movement on our apparent interest in Harvey Barnes of Leicester City and Federico Chiesa of Juventus. Multiple sources are now reporting that club officials have made good progress in their talks with Leicester counterparts and that a deal for Barnes could be concluded by the weekend, barring any hiccups.
Charlotte Duncker, The Times' Midlands football reporter, and Martin Hardy, a national writer who most commonly writes about Newcastle, reported on Wednesday that a fee of around £35 million might be agreed upon this week. This piece has since been followed up by Scott Wilson in The Northern Echo, who suggests the fee will be £35 million up-front with a further £5 million of potential add-ons.
Further to this, Barnes was "rested" for Leicester's friendly defeat to Peterborough United yesterday. This was reported by Lee Ryder in The Chronicle and is a typical tactic for selling clubs who do not want to risk an asset being injured while transfer discussions are underway.
All-in-all, it does seem like there is plenty of fire to go with the smoke as far as Barnes is concerned. Our move for him doesn't appear to be the smokescreen some assumed it was when news of our supposed interest in Chiesa began to gain traction at the back end of last week. Speaking of Chiesa, there has been more information coming out of Italy about the international winger in the past 48 hours.
La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Juventus sporting directors Cristiano Giuntoli and Giovanni Manna flew into London on Monday for talks with Premier League clubs about Chiesa, Dušan Vlahović, Bremer, and others. If the outlet is to be believed, it's between us and Liverpool for Chiesa, Chelsea are front-runners for Vlahović, and Spurs are keen on Bremer.
Interestingly, the Gazzetta says that for Chiesa to join us then Allan Saint-Maximin will have to leave, most likely to Saudi Arabia, while Liverpool's interest is due to the Merseyside club's fears over Mohamed Salah also moving to the Saudi Pro League. We don't know about you, but we'd gladly trade Saint-Maximin for Barnes and Chiesa, though we feel harsh writing it after the number of magic moments he's provided during his time at the club.
Here's a reminder of what each of the three wingers can do at their best: