LUCAS DIGNE could be on his way to Toon next month – but only if Eddie Howe inspires a quick improvement.
The Frenchman is in line to be sold by Rafa Benitez to raise desperately-needed funds for Goodison recruitment in the transfer window.
And after falling out with the hard-line Everton boss the left back bought for £18million from Barcelona in 2018 is very much on Newcastle United’s radar.
Yet while long-term money is no object at the world’s richest club following the Saudi takeover, the proposed budget for bringing in talent is around £50m.
Digne, valued at £25m, would take up have that proposed fund when Howe will be looking to bring in at least three more.
And because of the wealth now at St James’ Park, clubs would demand premium prices to sell.
The Magpies plan not to sign players who will not commit to the cause even if the season ends in relegation.
Howe wants to create stability with his signings – not be forced to sell some who won’t want to play in the Championship.
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Following Monday night’s clash with Manchester United they will face four successive games against fellow strugglers.
Ironically, Everton are scheduled to be first up on Thursday followed by Southampton, Watford and Leeds United.
Should new boss Howe get Toon out of the bottom three with signs of continuing upward momentum then that budget would rise to £200m.
That would allow him to go for Digne, 28, who is also interesting Paris Saint-Germain, where he played before moving to Barca.
Under-pressure Benitez already has Dynamo Kiev’s Viyaliy Mykolenko lined up as Digne’s replacement.
But he would cost around £20m – money SunSport has revealed he currently does not have with the Toffees flirting dangerously with Premier League financial fair play rules.
The Spaniard must sell first and would also like to dump the likes of Cenk Tosun, Alex Iwobi and Jean-Philippe Gbamin to raise funds and cut the wage bill.
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