Newcastle United are reportedly considering a January swoop for Aston Villa’s fringe midfielder Marvelous Nakamba with a £15 million price tag touted.

According to an exclusive report from Football Insider, Newcastle United have allegedly identified Aston Villa enforcer Marvelous Nakamba as a potential transfer target and are planning a £15 million January bid for the 27-year-old Zimbabwe international as they look to bolster their defensive midfield options.

Although the Tynesiders have been linked with off-field big money transfers following their Saudi-backed takeover their main priority is to avoid Premier League relegation this season and put the team on a more solid footing building up to next season.

The Tyneside outfit are looking at a busy winter transfer window to add substantial realistic additions to their Premier League rescue mission. Central midfield is one of the weak links in the Magpies squad, and the new owners are aiming to address the issue and have compiled a shortlist. Nakamba appears to be one of the candidates on the list because of his tenacity and energy.

The 27-year-old joined Aston Villa from Belgian outfit Club Brugge back in the summer of 2019. He played a regular part in his first season at the club, helping them secure their Premier League status, but has since struggled for game-time. In total, the defensive midfielder has appeared in 57 games for the Midlands club but is yet to score or assist a goal in claret and blue.

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He has been utilized as a bit-part squad player and has failed to establish himself as a regular starter in the Premier League. Nakamba has appeared in just one of Villa’s nine top-flight games so far this campaign. He has fallen down the pecking order behind the first-choice central midfielders Douglas Luiz and John McGinn, while they spent £14 million to bring Morgan Sanson from Marseille in January.

Newcastle have a very vulnerable and non-existent midfield. They are getting outrun and haven’t been able to screen their backline shown by the fact that they have leaked second-most goals in the top-flight, with only Norwich worse than them.

The North-East giants spent a big outlay to sign Joe Willock, but the Gunners academy product’s talents make him more suited for the box-to-box midfield role than a solid presence in front of the defence, while Isqac Hayden and Sean Longstaff have proved to be subpar at best. Nakamba fits the bill for the midfield destroyer role that Newcastle want to protect their fragile backline.

An all-action midfielder, the 27-year-old is combative and gritty in his approach. Mobile and disciplined, the Zimbabwean is a reliable operator. Good at winning the ball in duels, he also likes to drive forward on occasions. He would add some much-needed steel to Newcastle’s midfield, hence laying the groundwork for their attackers in Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron to be more active in the final third.

Nakamba is contracted at Villa Park until June 2024. The Villans will look to make a decent profit on their initial investment and have set a £15 million valuation on the player’s head. What now remains to be seen is whether the Magpies solidify their interest in the 27-year-old with a formal bid or turn to much more ambitious alternatives.

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