Newcastle ‘well placed’ to beat Liverpool to the French Declan Rice as Howe prepares for Champions League football

·2-min read
Khephren-Thuram-Nice Credit: Alamy
Khephren-Thuram-Nice Credit: Alamy

Newcastle United are reportedly ‘well placed’ to sign Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram at the end of the season, who is a key target for Liverpool.

The 22-year-old has caught the attention of several top clubs thanks to his fine form in Ligue 1. Now, it seems the Magpies have entered the race for his signature.

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Eddie Howe has admitted he wants to sign ‘elite’ players in the upcoming transfer window. Thuram certainly fits into that category, but he won’t come cheap.

Newcastle are absolutely flying at the moment and currently sit third in the Premier League table. As a result, Howe is already planning for life in the Champions League next season.

Indeed, they have been linked with several high-profile players recently, with the manager focusing on bolstering his midfield.

Declan Rice is one of the big names on Howe’s radar, however, he is still more likely to join Arsenal than Newcastle. As a result, they have identified Thuram as a potential alternative.

Now, according to Football Insiderwho claim Newcastle are ‘well placed’ to sign the midfielder. However, Newcastle will have to pay £60m for his services.

This season, Thuram has made 32 league appearances for Nice, scoring two goals and making four assists in the process.

Generally operating from defensive midfield, the Frenchman’s best attributes are his passing range and ability to break up opposition attacks.

This term, Thuram has an impressive pass success rate of 86.7%. He has also made an average of 1.5 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game. In that sense, he could be the ideal alternative to signing Rice.

Clearly, Thuram could prove to be a valuable addition for Newcastle. While the likes of Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff have been outstanding recently, there’s no doubt Howe is looking to bolster his midfield.

However, the Magpies could face strong competition from Liverpool.

The Reds have reportedly made Thuram one of their top targets, after missing out on Jude Bellingham.

Jurgen Klopp has drawn up a list of midfield targets, including Mason Mount, Ryan Gravenberch and Alexis Mac Allister. But, the Reds are allegedly pushing hardest for Thuram.

As mentioned, Nice have slapped a price tag of £60m on the midfielder, so both Newcastle and Liverpool will have to match that fee to have any chance of sealing a deal.

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