Atalanta target Liverpool star as replacement for Newcastle-bound striker

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Even though there are just four days left in this January’s transfer window, many signings could still take place and one of those is Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata, who could reportedly be set to join Newcastle United.

That’s according to a recent report from journalist Carl Markham, who has sensationally claimed that Atalanta is preparing to lose the Columbian forward this month and are subsequently interested in replacing him with Liverpool’s Divock Origi.

Despite scoring a famous goal in the semi-finals of the 2018-19 Champions League against Barcelona, cult-hero Origi, 26, has been a peripheral figure in Jurgen Klopp’s squad for quite some time now.

With the Belgium international’s deal at Anfield set to expire at the end of the season, interest in his services has come by way of Italy.

Elsewhere, Zapata, 30, joined Atalanta from domestic rivals Sampdoria in 2018, initially on loan before making his permanent two seasons later in a deal worth £10.8m.

During his near four-year-long spell in Bergamo, the 30-year-old South American has grown to become one of his side’s most important players.

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Having featured in just over 150 matches, in all competitions, Zapata has already netted on 78 occasions, adding a further 38 assists, along the way.

Duvan Zapata (right) in action for Atalanta.

However, with his contract set to expire in 18-months time, this January could see Atalanta presented with the last proper chance to sell the striker on before his value seriously declines.

With Eddie Howe’s Magpies looking to continue their January spree following the recent arrivals of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid and Chris Wood from Burnley, signing Zapata would certainly send a clear signal of intent.

Desperate to remain in England’s top-flight next season, the second half of this campaign is likely to be one of the most in the club’s history.

However, luring some of Europe’s best talent to St James’ Park is one thing, but getting them firing when the clubs need it most is another.

Fans will now be forced to wait to see if the Toon’s new cash-rich hierarchy can get the exciting proposed deal over the line before Monday’s deadline.

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