Newcastle United have turned their attention to Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly after Lille reiterated that priority target Sven Botman was not for sale, according to a report from The Times.
Kelly has been linked with a reunion with Cherries boss Eddie Howe already but prior reports had indicated a deal may be tough to do this month.
Strengthening at centre-back looks a necessity for Newcastle, who are expected to be big spenders after the Saudi-led consortium’s takeover earlier this season.
The Times has reported that the Bournemouth centre-back man is in their sights once again after they had a £30 million offer for Botman rejected.
It is understood that the North East club are now looking into a deal for Kelly.
Ahead of the January window, journalist Kris Temple revealed it would take more than £50 million for the South Coast club to consider letting him leave.
The 23-year-old has been a pivotal player for Scott Parker’s side this season, featuring 20 times and regularly wearing the captain’s armband as he’s helped the Cherries move top of the Championship after 25 games.
Bournemouth have already offloaded one central defender this month, with club stalwart Steve Cook leaving to join Nottingham Forest.
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With Howe now at the helm at Newcastle and the financial backing of the Saudi-led consortium, Bournemouth players were always likely to be targeted in January.
Given they need defensive reinforcements, Kelly could be a sound signing for the Magpies and an option at centre-back for years to come.
The 23-year-old has been hugely impressive this season and looks ready for another crack at the Premier League.
Whether that will come this month remains to be seen but it does seem as though it will be costly to prize him away in January, with Bournemouth currently on course to return to the top flight themselves.