Newcastle ‘trying to hijack’ £30m deal as Eddie Howe looks to strike West Ham blow

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Newcastle United are reportedly looking to hijack West Ham United’s efforts to land Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd ahead of next season. The Magpies are widely expected to spend heavily in the summer transfer window as a result of their newly-found Saudi backing and have already confirmed the arrival of Matt Targett on a permanent basis from Aston Villa.

Those in power at Newcastle are said to be keen on landing a new central defender after missing out on a move for long-term target Diego Carlos from Sevilla earlier this month. The Magpies have since taken a liking to Aguerd and will attempt to bring him to St James’ Park despite the player being set to undergo a medical at West Ham, according to Claret and Hugh.

It is said that Aguerd, who registered 40 appearances in all competitions for Rennes last season, has already been lined up at West Ham’s marquee signing in advance of next season. The Hammers are reportedly hoping to rubber-stamp his arrival before the end of this week, but it seems as though Newcastle will be looking to do everything in their power to snap him up for themselves.

West Ham are already busy trying to fight off Newcastle to land Alphonse Areola on a permanent basis following his loan spell at the London Stadium last season. It remains to be seen whether David Moyes will eventually lose out on the services of both players, with Newcastle aiming to use their spending power to cause no shortage of problems for West Ham over the coming days.

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Aguerd is said to be valued at around £30million by Rennes and remains tied down to his current employers until the summer of 2025. The 26-year-old joined the French outfit from Dijon back in 2020 and has since established himself as a key cog in the machine, earning a regular place in the Morocco side in the process.

Newcastle spent more than any other club in world football in the January transfer window and will be keen to splash the cash once again in order to achieve their goals over the course of this summer. Magpies boss Eddie Howe recently warned that it has been difficult to plan his transfer business in advance, though, despite having a clear idea of what he wants to achieve in the market.

“It’s very difficult to plan a summer transfer window because of the unpredictability of the market,” said Howe when quizzed on his strategy last month.

“But, of course, I have an idea of what I want to do, where I want to take the team and the changes that we need to make. It’s one thing having that idea in your head and then another thing executing it, so we will wait and see what happens.”

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