Newcastle United have reportedly set their sights on two Premier League strikers as they look to sharpen their attack during this month’s transfer window and steer away from the relegation zone.
The Magpies have been somewhat toothless up front this season, scoring just 20 goals in 22 Premier League fixtures, and have identified Watford striker Troy Deeney as their top transfer target according to ESPN, whilst also retaining an interest in Leicester City’s Islam Slimani, according to The Mirror.
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At present, Dwight Gayle and summer signing Joselu are Newcastle’s joint-top league scorers, with just three strikes to their names and manager Rafael Benitez is determined to add a proven goalscorer to his ranks in order to add distance between themselves and the bottom three.
According to ESPN, the Spaniard has enquired about the availability of Hornets captain Deeney, who has fallen down the pecking order somewhat at Vicarage Part, partly due to injuries and suspension, partly due to the arrival of summer signing Andre Gray from Burnley.
Following an impressive last campaign, the reported Newcastle target has struggled for form this term and is yet to find the back of the net from open play, with both his strikes coming from the penalty spot.
Deeney is reportedly not the only top-flight forward on Newcastle’s radar, though, with Benitez also a keen admirer of Slimani, according to The Mirror, as the striker has fallen down the pecking order at the King Power Stadium and could potentially leave the club this month.
However, Newcastle would have to see off stiff competition from Watford if they are to land the Algeria international, with Hornets boss Marco Silva keen on a reunion with a player he worked with during the pair’s time at Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon between 2015 and 2016.
Since his £28 million move to the Foxes last August, Slimani has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Leicester starting line-up.
Despite registering five goals to his name this season, four of those have come in the Carabao Cup, with the 29-year-old’s solitary Premier League goal coming during the Foxes’ 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town, last Monday.
Newcastle, currently in 13th place in the league standings, just two points clear of the relegation zone, kicked off the new year with a vital 1-0 victory away to Stoke City and return to Premier League action next weekend, when they take on basement outfit Swansea City at St James’ Park in another crunch encounter.