Newcastle linked with tough-tackling midfielder and soon-to-be free agent Howe knows well

According to reports, Newcastle are considering summer moves for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha and Bournemouth left-back Jordan Zemura.

Starting with Palhinha, The Sun’s Dan King reports that we’ve joined a five-club battle for the Portuguese international, with Newcastle, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal all ‘monitoring’ the midfielder following his outstanding debut season in the Premier League.

The tough-tackling 28-year-old has won more duels and completed more tackles than any other player in the top flight since completing a £17m move from Sporting Lisbon last summer and is believed to be valued around the £40m mark.

As for Zemura, 90min claim that the 23-year-old has ‘admirers’ at Newcastle who may be watching his contract situation with interest after talks over a new deal stalled.

This was the reason he was left out of the Cherries’ 1-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday, with it appearing increasingly likely that he’ll leave on a free transfer this summer.

West Ham, Leeds and Aston Villa are also thought to be keen on the full-back; who was brought to the south coast by Eddie Howe four years ago.

I’d expect us to target a higher calibre left-back this summer, but more than one could be targeted if we let go of Jamal Lewis and use Dan Burn as more of a back-up option to Sven Botman?

When it comes to Palhinha, he’d tick several boxes as an all-action No 6 with Premier League experience and bags of ball-winning ability. However, I can see us looking abroad for a younger alternative to the former Lisbon star, especially when he won’t come cheap following his superb debut season in England.

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