Newcastle United battles Spurs in race versatile player with huge bid

Newcastle United have joined the race to sign Blackburn Rovers centre-back Ashley Phillips, according to The Sun.

The Magpies can now compete with some of the best teams in England in the transfer market, with Eddie Howe having plenty of money at his disposal as he looks to solidify his side’s status as serious competitors for Champions League football.

But they won’t just want to sign players who are already in the peak years of their careers. They will also want to sign some youngsters in their quest to build for the long term and enjoy long-lasting success.

And England youth international Phillips, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League even before this summer, is one man who could become a future star at St James’ Park.

What’s the latest on Newcastle United’s pursuit of Ashley Phillips?

Although they have shown an interest, they haven’t offered more than Spurs to overtake the North London outfit in this race just yet and with this, they don’t look to be the favourites to get a deal over the line.

The Magpies have quite a few older heads in central defence and with this in mind, they may want to bring someone else in who could partner Sven Botman at the back in the coming years.

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But they don’t seem to be desperate to get a deal over the line for Phillips at this point, with Howe’s side not coughing up the money needed to strike an agreement with Blackburn.

How much would Newcastle United have to pay for Ashley Phillips?

If Spurs don’t manage to secure an agreement before Friday, a £2m escape clause will kick in which will give interested sides the opportunity to secure his signature for a reasonably modest fee.

The rest of the money could arrive in the form of bonuses, with Blackburn likely to benefit hugely from this potential deal if Phillips becomes a vital player at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It would be difficult to see Newcastle forking out nearly £10m on the player despite his potential, even though some of this money would be paid at a future date.

How much should Newcastle United be willing to spend on Ashley Phillips?

Although Newcastle are well-backed by their very wealthy owners, they need to ensure they are abiding by financial fair play rules and this is why they need to make sure they aren’t spending too much on transfers.

Spending £5m straight away for a player that isn’t likely to be a regular first-teamer may not be a wise idea, although they should definitely be looking to secure his signature when the £2m clause is activated.

Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar, Jamal Lascelles and Dan Burn are either in their thirties or approaching their 30th birthday, so there’s definitely a need for Newcastle to have some younger centre-backs at their disposal.

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But what his price is should determine whether they make a move for him.

Allan Saint-Maximin’s move may free up some money to be spent, but they have already spent a decent amount in the transfer market and the sale of the Frenchman may help to balance the books following the arrival of Harvey Barnes.