Newcastle United are reportedly weighing up a move for Zenit St Petersburg striker Sardar Azmoun.

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United are lining up a January swoop for Zenit St Petersburg forward Sardar Azmoun as they look to bolster their attacking ranks in the upcoming transfer window.

The report claims that Magpies boss Eddie Howe has compiled a long list of potential targets, which the Toon hierarchy will pursue. However, there is a huge dilemma heading into the January market with Newcastle’s Premier League status hanging in the balance in the relegation zone.

Having conceded the highest number of goals in the division (41), it is fair to assume that at least one full-back and centre-back is on top of the shopping list for the Tyneside outfit. But Howe, seemingly, wants a new striker to reduce the goalscoring burden on Callum Wilson in the Newcastle attack. One of the players on the manager’s purported wish list is Iran and Zenit St Petersburg striker Sardar Azmoun.

Azmoun began his career in the youth ranks at Iranian club Sepahan but has spent his entire professional career in Russia. After spells at Rubin Kazan and FC Rostov, Sardar Azmoun moved to Zenit St. Petersburg in 2019. He has turned out to be a great signing for the Russian giants, as the forward has produced a consistent output over the past few years, playing a big part in their domestic dominance.

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Azmoun has an impeccable record, with 62 goals in 104 games for Zenit. Not to mention, he is a mainstay in the Iranian national team and has also netted 39 goals for his country in 60 appearances. He has attracted a lot of attention after his impressive performances in the Champions League this season. As such, Lyon and Everton are eyeing a potential swoop for the attacker, although they are set to face stiff competition from Newcastle.

The Magpies’ approach for Azmoun makes sense considering their overreliance on talismanic striker Wilson to produce the goods in front of goal. Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin are better suited to creative roles, while Dwight Gayle is linked with a loan exit to the Championship. Therefore, they need another striker to provide the much-needed goals.

Signing someone with a proven goalscoring pedigree as Azmoun could be a wise move from the Magpies. Aside from his predatory skills, the 26-year-old is creative, can link up well with attackers around him and has shown the ability to operate as an effective number 10. Furthermore, his physique and aggression make him a useful outlet in the first line of press.

Following the Saudi-backed takeover, Newcastle have been linked with many high-profile players from all around Europe, the most recent being Edin Dzeko. While they have the financial strength, players are apprehensive about joining the Magpies in their relegation dogfight.

As far as the pursuit for Azmoun is concerned, it is not too unrealistic. In fact, the 26-year-old could be available for a cut-price deal, given that his current contract at Zenit expires at the end of the Russian Premier League season. Having won it all in Russia, the Iranian could relish the opportunity to play in the Premier League and put his skills to the test.

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