Newcastle United are reportedly ready to break the bank for Manchester United target Amadou Haidara in the January transfer window.

According to Daily Mail, Newcastle United’s are plotting to blow Manchester United out of the water in their pursuit of highly-rated RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara this month as the Magpies are ready to cover total costs over £80 million for the 23-year-old midfield ace.

Newcastle’s new owners are determined to back manager Eddie Howe to strengthen multiple areas on the pitch this month as they look to stave off relegation in the second half of the campaign. The Magpies have already signed Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood. They have now earmarked RB Leipzig’s central midfielder Amadou Haidara as a key target this month as they look to bolster their midfield options.

Regarded as one of the brightest talents in Europe, the Malian has been in impressive form for Die Rotten Bullen since arriving from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019. To date, Haidara has made 101 appearances for Leipzig. The supremely talented midfielder is seen as one of the hottest properties in the market and has garnered interest from the Premier League, notably from Manchester United and Newcastle.

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Newcastle’s current options in central midfield are mediocre, to say the least, and it has been an area in desperate need of improvement for a long time. With Isaac Hayden out for two months with a knee injury and Sean Longstaff courted by Everton, there is also a lack of depth. At 23, the Malian would not only be a big upgrade over their existing roster, but also help the new owner build the team around him.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with the midfielder, with reports suggesting that interim boss Ralf Rangnick has identified him as a top transfer target this January. The Red Devils’ need to sign an all-round central midfielder has been well-documented in recent windows.

With Paul Pogba into the final six months of his Manchester United contract and seeking free agency at the end of the season, Haidara could be the long-term successor. The 23-year-old also possesses a perfect balance of technical quality alongside defensive skills to excel in Rangnick’s tactical setup.

Haidara’s current deal with Leipzig expires in 2025, although he has a £33 million release clause that will come into effect next summer. However, if the Toons want to sign him this month, they will have to pay in excess of the claimed buy-out fee.

The 23-year-old would demand a lucrative salary package of around £160,000-per-week, making him the highest earner at St. James’ Park. As such, the entire cost is expected to be approximately £80 million, which the Magpies are willing to bear. He is currently on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, which makes it a tough deal to crack aside of the finances involved.

Newcastle do have the financial might to bring RB Leipzig to the table. Whether they can convince Haidara to swap Champions League-chasing RB Leipzig and Manchester United for a relegation dogfight at St. James’ Park remains to be seen.

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