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Newcastle target Duvan Zapata ‘wants to join’ with transfer talks ongoing for January move

Newcastle are hoping to complete a deal to sign Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata on loan until the end of the season after it emerged the striker is keen on a move. Eddie Howe is looking to bolster his squad ahead of the Magpies’ relegation battle and is hoping to add a high-profile striker, with Orobici star Zapata on his radar.

The deal would see the Colombia international head to St James’ Park until the end of the campaign with a view to completing a permanent switch in the summer.

According to The Sunday Mirror, Toon chiefs are stepping up their efforts to thrash out a deal with the Serie A outfit for Zapata, who has consistently been one of the top scorers in Italy since his arrival in 2013.

Atalanta have already rebuffed Newcastle’s enquiry for left-back Robin Gosens and the club are demanding a hefty £8m loan fee to allow Zapata to leave.

As revealed by Express Sport last week, the Italian side rejected the first offer from Newcastle which included a proposal of an initial loan and permanent fee of £22m.

The total package of the deal was understood to be worth around £25m, while Atalanta value their top scorer at around £34m.

JUST IN: Howe hints at ‘frustration’ with Newcastle owners

The Gabonese forward has been frozen out by Mikel Arteta over a disciplinary issue and has not played in 2022 after jetting off to the Africa Cup of Nations on international duty.

But the 32-year-old has attracted interest from Saudi Arabia, with Al Nassr set to agree a deal that will see them cover his £350,000-a-week wages, while Al-Hilal are keeping tabs on the situation.

Zapata earns a considerably lower wage packet at Atalanta and the 30-year-old may therefore prove to be a cheaper addition for Howe if he lands his top target.

When asked about a possible summer move back in April 2021, Zapata told Gazzetta dello Sport: “My future in the Premier League? Never say never in football.

“When I was a kid, I was always watching the Premier League. I was an Arsenal fan! I got up early every weekend to watch their games. I was in love with Thierry Henry’s Arsenal.

“In Colombia, we love the Premier League. Who knows, one day I could play there.”

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