Newcastle United’s pursuit of Southampton full-back Tino Livramento has raised eyebrows, even though the 20-year-old is one of the most highly-rated young footballers in English football.
After all, with Kieran Trippier stepping into the right-back slot and Harrison Ashby only signing in January as his long-term successor, not to mention the fact that Emil Krafth and Javi Manquillo remain at the club, a new right-back is very low. on the list of priorities in the transfer market.
Eddie Howe is keen to sign two ‘elite’ midfielders to provide competition for Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock, Joelinton and Sean Longstaff, with Sandro Tonali set to complete his move from AC Milan this week.
He is also keen to find a playmaker to add to his midfield options, with both Leicester City star James Maddison and RB Leipzig star Dominik Szoboszlai among the players United are monitoring in that regard.
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Similarly, a new left-back is thought to be high on the agenda. Dan Burn played there for most of last season, but he is most comfortable as a centre-half. Matt Targett is expected to remain at the club to support a new left-back, with Jamal Lewis moving on. Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney and AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez are thought to be high on United’s wanted list.
Many were surprised, especially given the potential constraints of FFP this summer, when it was revealed that Newcastle were in talks with Southampton about signing the England under-21 international this summer, following the relegation of the Saint from the Premier League.
Chronicle Live understands there is confidence from the Newcastle side that a deal can be reached despite the two clubs currently sitting around £10m apart in their respective player valuations. Ryan Fraser is expected to go the other way as part of the deal.
Livramento will provide competition for Trippier at right back and the move will allow Ashby to move out on loan to gain some valuable first team experience.
It also reflects how sporting director Dan Ashworth worked at Brighton. Ashworth is always keen to sign players at the club before they are needed so if and when a player is sold for a big fee, their replacement is already in the building.
The most recent examples came after Ashworth swapped South Coast for Newcastle, but it was his groundwork that laid the foundation for Brighton’s success last term.
Despite losing Yves Bissouma to Tottenham last summer, while Leandro Trossard was also sold to Arsenal in January, the Seagulls still managed to finish sixth in the Premier League to qualify for the Europa League for the first time in their history
Bissouma’s absence was not felt due to the emergence of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister in midfield, while the form of Julio Enciso and Kaoru Mitoma ensured that Trossard’s absence was not felt too much.
All four players are already in the building and gradually being prepared for first team football with a considered plan after they were signed by the club, either through their under-23s system or, in Caicedo’s case, Mac Allister and Mitoma, through successful loans.
“We try to get players in before we need them,” Brighton CEO Paul Barber explained to TalkSPORT earlier this year. “If you go out and sell a player for a lot of money and then find his replacement, everything becomes more difficult.
“We try and think ahead, we try and plan ahead as best we can, not just on the field but off the field. We’re not perfect, we still make mistakes with our recruitment, we don’t get everything right.
“Sometimes players don’t work out for whatever reason, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad player at all. Sometimes they don’t work out for family reasons, environmental reasons, they don’t get along. the coach , the colleagues.
“We’ve had a few incidents of that so it’s not perfect, but every year that goes by we feel like the process is more refined. We’re getting closer to the targets we really want and we’re fishing in different ways. ponds because we need and want.
“We are very smart in finding young players that we think are very coachable, that we can make better and that gives us an advantage in terms not only when they play for us, but also when it has the potential to sell them in the future.
“That allows us to generate revenues that then allow us to do the same process again and keep doing it.”
It’s a policy that has seen Brighton save millions and become, arguably, the most well-run club in the country. When Ashworth was approached by Newcastle’s ownership to become the club’s sporting director, part of his brief was to repeat the trick on Tyneside.
The Magpies signed Ashby in January and the potential signing of Livramento shows they are preparing a succession plan once Trippier leaves.
The 32-year-old is still at the top of his game, and was named in the Premier League’s Team of the Season last term. But when the time comes for him to leave Newcastle, the Magpies will not want to chase down the world’s top right-backs for massive fee hikes.
Instead, the plan became clear. Newcastle hope to land two of the country’s brightest right-back prospects and repeat the success Brighton are now enjoying thanks to the cost-effective recruitment model Ashworth put in place at the Amex Stadium.
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