Newcastle face battle for ‘urgent target’ Alfredo Morelos with two rivals chasing £20m ace

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Newcastle will face a battle to sign ‘urgent’ transfer target Alfredo Morelos, according to reports. Two other Premier League clubs are reportedly interested in the Rangers forward, who Magpies boss Eddie Howe wants to replace the injured Callum Wilson. 

Howe was dealt a major blow in his attempts to haul Newcastle away from danger when Wilson was taken off with an injury during the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on December 27.  

The former Bournemouth boss revealed afterwards that the forward, who has scored six of the club’s 19 goals this season, could be out for “weeks, maybe months”.  

Key winger Allan Saint-Maximin also had his game ended prematurely after scoring the opening goal against the Red Devils. However, his issue is not understood to be as serious.  

“Callum’s injury looks severe. Weeks, maybe months,” Howe said. “I feared for him when he went down with nobody around him. A pull. Allan, I don’t think is as serious.

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“We are thin on the ground in terms of bodies.” 

Wilson has been a highlight in Newcastle’s disappointing campaign on the field so far. He netted the first goal of the new owners’ regime in October and has looked a threat in a team that struggles to score.  

The England striker’s absence is likely to change the Tyneside outfit’s transfer plans in January as they seek the goals to lift them out of the Premier League relegation zone.  

According to CBS Sports, Rangers star Morelos is an ‘urgent’ target and Newcastle hope that he can replicate his form in Scotland, where he has scored 107 times in four years. 

However, Newcastle have strong competition to secure the Colombian’s signature.  

The report continues that Everton and Leicester City both hope to secure a move for Morelos, who is rated at £20m.  

Like Newcastle, Everton have struggled for goals this season, especially during Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence.  

Salomon Rondon scored just once while the England star remained sidelined for the best part of three months.  

Leicester are not short of options upfront, with boss Brendan Rodgers able to turn to the likes of Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka. 

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But Morelos would be a welcome boost to a Foxes side who have suffered plenty of injuries this term.  

Meanwhile, Newcastle are also set to reinvigorate their defence. They have conceded a staggering 42 goals in 19 league matches but have the unique advantage of being able to spend big during January following their eye-watering £305million takeover in January.  

Express Sport understands that talks over a move for Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier have advanced. 

Howe’s side have also been widely linked with Dutch defender Sven Botman of Lille, though reports today claim the French club have rebuffed Newcastle’s attempts to open up talks. 
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