Newcastle United are eyeing a potential move for Rangers star Alfredo Morelos as reports emerge over PIF’s potential transfer plans.
What’s the story?
Following the completion of their takeover, PIF will no doubt be looking towards the upcoming January transfer window as the perfect opportunity to start their revamp of the Magpies’ squad.
And, according to 90min, the Tyneside club have earmarked Colombia international Morelos as a player they could get, with suggestions that a move could be a “distinct possibility.”
The report adds that the striker is someone they’re closely looking at and that a lot of scouting work on him has been done already.
Newcastle’s new Mitrovic
While Aleksandar Mitrovic may not have been a prolific goal-scorer in his time at Newcastle, he certainly brought a sense of aggression and intensity to the club’s attack.
In the 72 games that he played for the club, the fiery Serbian bagged 17 goals and provided another ten assists, while his hot-headedness saw him also pick up eight yellows and two red cards to boot too.
In Morelos, PIF could find someone who has got that same level of fire and drive, but with a bit more of a clinical touch to his game.
Speaking exclusively to FFC, former Rangers star Michael Ball said: “I think there’s been talk about Morelos maybe for two or three years now about leaving Rangers for many reasons. His goal-scoring is second to none but he’s got that South American bite to him.
“He reminds me of the Suarez situation where, one day he’s fantastic and the next he can let you down because the passion gets too much for him. Being part of Rangers, he’s got to know the club so well, he understands it and sometimes passion does get over him.”
That “passion” is something former Dundee boss Neil McCann has raved about, saying: “I would love to have someone like that in my team. Not just the goals, even though 28 is a quite incredible return given he has missed a number of games. It is his all-round play. He is a proper No.9. He can hold it up, run the channel and is very good in the air despite not being that big. He wouldn’t be much bigger than me but he is powerful. And he loves a fight.
“Centre-backs don’t like a fight. They want to be the ones bullying people. Defenders can almost get caught up with Morelos’ power. So they think about the fight first and all of a sudden he is off down the side of them or dipping off – and bang.”
But it’s not just his personality that marks him out as a potentially exciting signing for Newcastle.
Speaking to The Athletic in 2019, one Scottish Premiership defender hailed Morelos as ‘deceptive’ with his strength on the pitch, saying: “When he goes to shield the ball it’s so difficult. His body strength and ball control are very good, so he makes it very difficult for you. He is deceptive with his physical attributes, but what I’d say he’s best at is when the ball is played up to him. He lets you think that you can nip in front of him and then his timing to put his body in and spin you is excellent.”
The man with 145 career goals to his name could be the exact kind of striker to get people off the edge of their seats at St James’ Park.