Andrea Belotti has become the latest player to turn down a transfer to Newcastle United, according to reports in his native Italy.
The reality is setting in at Newcastle that they may not be able to attract all their targets in the transfer window. Feasibly, they can afford anyone, but it will take a long time to convince some of their sporting ambition.
For now, they remain in a relegation battle. Only once survival is secured for next season will they really be able to put together persuasive pitches.
In the short term, they need to find players who can help them avoid a drop to the Championship. They have already made Kieran Trippier the first signing of the Saudi era.
Also on their agenda this month are deals for a centre-back and a centre-forward. The latter department has become more of a priority due to an injury to main man Callum Wilson.
Many names have already been linked to fill the void. For example, a deal for Chris Wood from Burnley is believed to have made progress. They have also looked at Liverpool’s Divock Origi, Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah and Reims’ Hugo Ekitike.
Another option they seem to have considered, though, is Andrea Belotti. The Italy international is in the final six months of his contract with Torino, whom he captains.
Belotti has played for Torino since 2015, when he joined from Palermo. During his time with the club, the number nine has scored 107 goals from 238 games.
He has long been linked with a transfer to the Premier League. But Torino have often held firm. Now, though, it is out of their hands.
Belotti can negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside Italy. Alternatively, Torino may take their last chance to cash in on the 28-year-old.
Belotti makes Newcastle wait
Newcastle are one of two clubs to have come forward, according to Sky Sport Italia. The other is Al Hilal, coincidentally from Saudi Arabia themselves.
In fact, Al Hilal have reportedly had a bid accepted by Torino for Belotti. But Newcastle are also showing an interest.
Both clubs’ efforts have not paid off just yet, though. The report claims Belotti wants to end the season with Torino before picking his next destination.
Therefore, he will not be the boost Newcastle need up front right now. Whether they will have a chance to snap him up as a free agent in the summer, only time will tell.
In the meantime, they will have to focus elsewhere to improve up front until the end of the season.