The Chronicle’s Newcastle editor Aaron Stokes has admitted that the future of Matt Targett is uncertain.
The left-back spent the second half of the campaign on loan at the Magpies from Aston Villa and started all but one of the club’s 17 Premier League games – that match being against his parent club.
He finished the season with a steady 6.96 average SofaScore rating under Eddie Howe, but with reports linking the St James’ Park outfit with an upgrade in that position, Targett’s future has been thrown into doubt.
PIF are thought to be looking at Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lodi and would have to pay an apparent fee of £35m, while Stokes has claimed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to see Targett joining the Tynesiders permanently.
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, he said: “Are the owners looking and thinking, ‘yeah, Matt Targett’s done a very good job, he’s came in, he’s done what he was asked to for six months, but we want to go bigger, we want to go better and we want to sign players that are more experienced and are going to sort of elevate us to the next level’?
“Newcastle have probably got the funds to bring them both in – whether they will or not, I don’t know – but I think the longer it goes on, the less likely we are to see Targett joining the club.”
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It’s probably hard to argue the fact that Lodi would indeed “elevate” Howe’s side, with Stokes hinting the owners may be looking for a signing of his calibre.
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Targett, who has been lauded as ‘outstanding’ by Eddie Howe, recorded just one goal and one assist this season, both of which came as a Villa player, whereas his potential Brazilian replacement does tend to excel in forward areas.
The 24-year-old ranks in the 94th percentile for non-penalty goals per 90 and the 91st percentile for assists per 90 among players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues and European competitions throughout the last year, and he would certainly be an exciting addition in the north-east.