Magpies are badly short of numbers at the back at present.
Newcastle United are hoping to seal a double swoop for Everton’s Johnny Heitinga and Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott before the January transfer window closes for the season at the end of this month, as the north-east outfit look to add some much-needed strength in depth at the back at St James’ Park for the second half of this campaign.
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The Magpies are currently enjoying an excellent season in the Premier League, with Alan Pardew’s side lying in eighth place in the top flight at present, just a point behind champions Manchester United as we enter the second half of the campaign.
However, one area where the Geordies have struggled is at the back, with a number of Pardew’s first-choice centre backs either out injured, or having simply lost form of late, including the likes of skipper Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.
All of which means that Pardew has made the purchase of at least one new central defender an absolute priority for this month, with the Newcastle manager even pushing owner Mike Ashley to hand him the funds to bring two centre backs to the club.
And the duo that Pardew is believed to have identified are Everton’s out-of-favour Netherlands international and City’s unsettled England international, with the Magpies boss even hoping that the pair can go straight into his starting lineup as a newly formed partnership at the heart of the club’s back four.
The Toffees defender had been expected to leave Goodison Park for relegation-threatened West Ham United in January, however, that much-publicised transfer has now broken down, with Heitinga having recently pulled out of talks with the struggling east London outfit, paving the way clear for Newcastle to land the 30-year-old instead.
Heitinga’s current contract with the Merseyside giants now only runs until June and so Everton are keen to offload the experienced Dutchman in January, rather than risk losing him for free at the end of this season.
Meanwhile the player himself is said to just be desperate to get as much game time in between now and next summer’s World Cup in order to safeguard his own position in the Netherlands squad for the tournament.
And the situation is exactly the same with Lescott, who also has less than six months left to run on his bumper deal at Eastlands, with the Englishman still hoping to be part of Roy Hodgson’s plans at Brazil 2014.