Newcastle make Premier League centre-half their new number one defensive target

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Newcastle United are interested in Brighton centre-half Dan Burn
Newcastle United are interested in Brighton centre-half Dan Burn

DAN BURN has become Newcastle United’s number one central-defensive target, with Eddie Howe keen to follow the capture of Bruno Guimaraes with at least one more signing before the transfer window closes on Monday night.

Guimaraes was due to undergo a medical in Brazil late yesterday after Newcastle’s head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, flew out to oversee proceedings and tie up the loose ends of the midfielder’s move from Lyon.

Newcastle have agreed to pay an initial fee of around £35m for Guimaraes, who was an unused substitute as Brazil drew 1-1 with Ecuador on Thursday night, with a further £8m of potential add-ons included in the deal.

Guimaraes will become the Magpies’ third January signing, following Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood, but Howe remains determined to sign a central defender before the window closes.

Newcastle have maintained a line of communication with Sevilla, but there has been no indication that the Spanish club are willing to reduce their valuation of Diego Carlos.

The Magpies have had a bid of around £30m turned down, with Sevilla holding out for closer to £40m for Carlos, who is due to turn 29 in March.

Newcastle’s recruitment team feel that valuation is much too high, and have identified Burn as their preferred alternative.

An initial bid of around £7m was rejected earlier this week, but sources on the south coast have suggested Brighton would be willing to do business for around £15m. With three days of the window remaining, a compromise should be possible. Blyth-born Burn was on Newcastle’s books as a youngster before starting his career with Darlington.

“I don’t imagine that (the Guimaraes deal) would be the end of our interest in bringing new players in,” said Howe, who watched his side play Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ittihad in a friendly last night. “Whether that turns into reality, who knows.

“We’re open, and we’re working hard to improve the squad to give the team the best chance of staying in the league. That was our aim at the beginning of January, and that won’t change.”

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