NEWCASTLE have received a transfer boost as Bayern Munich are in doubt over their top target Joao Palhinha, a report claims.
Eddie Howe is on the hunt for a Sandro Tonali replacement – who received a ten-month ban following an investigation into betting breaches.
The Magpies are beginning to prepare for life without Tonali.
The Italian midfielder, 23, is set to miss the rest of the campaign leaving boss Howe with a major hole to fill.
Fulham star Palhinha, 28, has also been on Newcastle's radar for some time now but has been faced with fierce competition from the Bundesliga giants.
Bayern Munich were on the verge of signing the Portuguese star and the end of the summer transfer window for £56million.
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Yet the deal collapsed as the Cottagers failed to find a replacement before the window shut.
And it was expected that Bayern would launch a fresh deal for their top target again in January.
But according to German outlet BILD, Bayern are now in doubt over whether to pursue a deal to sign the Cottagers midfielder.
The report claims the German side are concerned about a related knee issue with Palhinha.
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And last month Palhinha agreed to a new contract with Fulham up until 2028.
Meaning his £56million price tag has certainly inflated which is reportedly another factor that makes Bayern reluctant to pursue the deal.
This will be music to Howe's ears who is desperate to recruit another midfielder to his starting XI in the new year.
But Palhinha may be dropped again as Manchester United's Scott McTominay has also been a long-term Toon target.
Howe thinks he is another option to fill Tonali's role in both defensive and central midfield positions.
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