Premier League club Newcastle United have submitted an enquiry to AFC Bournemouth regarding the availability of midfielder Philip Billing, according to 90min.com.
Along with Cherries teammates Steve Cook and Lloyd Kelly, Magpies boss Eddie Howe is also thought to be keen on a reunion with Danish midfielder Billing, bringing him to the Vitality Stadium in the summer of 2019 from Huddersfield Town for a fee reported to be in the region of £15m.
After the south coast outfit’s relegation to the Championship, he has established himself as a key asset, scoring four goals and recording four assists last term as we played his part in guiding his current side to a top-six finish.
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Then-Premier League new boys Norwich City were reported to be monitoring the 25-year-old’s situation in the second tier during the summer, but the midfielder has remained loyal to the cause and will now be looking to get the Cherries back to the top flight at the second time of asking.
But Newcastle, who were the subject of a takeover from wealthy shareholders in October, could be about to end his stay at the Vitality if they can launch a bid that matches Scott Parker’s side’s valuation.
With his contract not expiring until 2024 and his current side likely to be desperate to keep him after seeing him register 11 goal contributions in the league this season, it will take a hefty offer to lure him up north.
But that’s possible given the Magpies’ new wealth and ahead of this potential move, we asked three of our Football League World writers if they believe he would be a good and much-needed signing at St James’ Park.
For Bournemouth, Philip Billing has been sensational and is a key player for them – so it’s absolutely no surprise to see Newcastle interested.
For Eddie Howe, he has the funds to be able to really tempt the Cherries into selling him on now. In fact, they could end up with a fee for the player that would be much more than his value – in which case they should probably accept a bid.
Newcastle have the funds to be able to throw money at players and if Scott Parker plays his cards right, he could certainly add plenty of the Toon’s cash to his coffers. On the other hand though, Billing is such a valuable player and to sell him in the middle of the season would be a bad move by the club.
He is a superb player for them and has helped them claim an automatic promotion spot. Regardless of the money on the table, if the player leaves the side, then it would leave a gap in the eleven.
For Newcastle, the deal would certainly boost their squad. For Bournemouth, they need to consider if they want more money or for the player to stay on with the Cherries.
It’s no surprise to see Premier League interest in Phillip Billing, who is one of the most talented midfielders in the Championship at the moment.
His links with Eddie Howe make Newcastle an obvious destination were he to leave Bournemouth but I’m not convinced this is the right time for a move.
Looking long-term, Billing would make an interesting addition but I’m not sure he’s the sort of signing that should be prioritised given the initial target has to be avoiding relegation from the Premier League.
Prizing him away from the Vitality Stadium is not going to be cheap given he’s a key figure in the Cherries promotion push and with that in mind, you feel the money may be better spent in other areas next month.
I wouldn’t write off the move in the future but I don’t think it’s a goer in January.
This would be a smart addition for the Cherries. Not only is he a player Howe already knows, going a long way in ensuring he would fit in seamlessly at St James’ Park, but he has also proven he can be a real asset going forward.
Not afraid to get himself in the box, he would be the perfect man to have behind Callum Wilson, taking the pressure off the forward to score the bulk of the Magpies’ goals and can also provide plenty of assists for the England international too.
A big presence in the middle of the park, he can also sit deeper at times, but giving him the license and freedom to get forward could end up paying dividends.
Whether he would be one of the first names on the teamsheet on Tyneside remains to be seen – but you just feel having him as an advanced midfielder behind Wilson and the rejuvenated Joelinton can help to fire the top-tier side to safety.
It wouldn’t be the worst signing in the world, put it that way.