Newcastle United have reportedly made initial contact with Premier League rivals Aston Villa over a deal for left-back Matt Targett this month.
According to 90 min, Newcastle United have enquired about the availability of Aston Villa left-back Matt Targett. The 26-year-old could be made available for transfer this month after falling down the pecking order.
Having strengthened the right-back position by signing Kieran Trippier, Newcastle United are looking to bolster the left side of their backline in the winter market. The Magpies have been linked with a host of left-backs recently, including Bayer Leverkusen’s Mitchel Bakker and Atalanta’s Robin Gosens. Matt Targett becomes the latest player to join an extended list of potential targets for the left-back position.
Targett came through the youth ranks at Southampton and had a brief loan spell at Fulham before joining then-newly promoted Aston Villa for around £14 million in search of regular first-team football. He started in 27 games for the Villains in the 2019/20 campaign, as the club narrowly avoided relegation on the final day of the season.
Since then, the former Southampton full-back has continued his progression with Aston Villa. Targett played in every top-flight game during the 2020/21 campaign and was part of a resilient defence that kept 15 clean sheets, which made him the Players’ Player of the Season.
But the 26-year old has struggled to find consistency in his performances this season and has not done enough to convince new Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard, who subsequently brought French international left-back Lucas Digne in from Everton, and put him straight into his starting XI in the most recent game against Manchester United.
That means Targett is now relegated to the role of backup and could be open to being a first-choice elsewhere. Ironically enough, Digne was one of Newcastle’s primary targets earlier in the window after falling out with former Newcastle and Everton boss Rafael Benitez but opted against a move to the North East owing to the Magpies’ precarious position in the Premier League.
Newcastle require reinforcements in the left-back position after being forced to field Matt Ritchie as their makeshift left-back in the early parts of the season. Signing a proven Premier League option in Matt Targett could be a decent option if he can emulate last season’s form. He has the experience of dealing with the pressure of a relegation battle and can offer Howe additional width in the final third.
In fact, it was not long ago that England boss Gareth Southgate considered calling Targett up to the England squad on the back of his fine form last term. Having said that, pursuing a deal for Aston Villa’s backup option is a bit underwhelming after being linked with exciting players all across Europe.
There is nothing mentioned about Aston Villa’s stance on Newcastle’s interest, and it is highly unlikely that Gerrard would want to weaken his cover options. Targett is contracted to the Midlands outfit until 2025 and is rated at around £15 million, as per Transfermarkt. Whether Newcastle firm up their initial interest by tabling a formal offer remains to be seen.