05 Jul Newcastle leading the race to secure £50m-rated Harvey Barnes from Leicester
Newcastle United have emerged as the frontrunners in the pursuit of Harvey Barnes from Leicester City, despite interest from Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham United.
Eddie Howe, the manager of Newcastle, is keen to strengthen his squad with a new left-winger and Barnes is among his top targets. The potential departure of Allan Saint-Maximin, who has attracted interest from clubs in the Saudi Pro League, could pave the way for Newcastle to secure the signing.
Newcastle have already bolstered their midfield by acquiring Sandro Tonali from AC Milan and now Howe’s focus is on reinforcing his attacking options. Barnes, who is valued at £50 million, is expected to leave Leicester following their relegation from the Premier League.
During the previous season, Howe frequently deployed Alexander Isak, Miguel Almirón, Saint-Maximin, and Anthony Gordon in wide positions. While Saint-Maximin brings excitement to the team, his consistency has been a concern, and selling him would provide Newcastle with additional funds for recruitment.
The transfer fee that Leicester will demand for Barnes remains uncertain, especially after their sale of James Maddison to Tottenham for £40 million. Initial suggestions indicated that Leicester would seek £50 million for the 25-year-old winger, but they may need to accept a lower fee following their descent into the Championship.
West Ham United have also expressed interest in Barnes as they seek to strengthen their left side. Manager David Moyes, who is set to receive significant funds from the expected sale of Declan Rice to Arsenal for £105 million, admires Barnes for his goal-scoring prowess, with the winger having netted 13 goals last season.
West Ham’s current options on the left, Saïd Benrahma, Maxwel Cornet, and Pablo Fornals, all face uncertain futures. Cornet has struggled with injuries since his arrival from Burnley last summer and is listed for sale, Fornals has only one year left on his contract, and Benrahma could be tempted by a fresh challenge.
While West Ham and Aston Villa will participate in European competitions next season (Europa League and Europa Conference League, respectively), Newcastle’s potential inclusion in the Champions League could prove decisive in their pursuit of Barnes.
Tottenham’s chances of signing Barnes appear less likely as they are close to finalising a deal for Israel winger Manor Solomon from Maccabi Petah Tikva. Additionally, Newcastle is also actively pursuing the signing of Southampton right-back Tino Livramento, indicating their ambition to bolster their squad for the upcoming campaign.