The “Northern Notebook” is Yo‘s weekly look inside the biggest football clubs in the north of England, providing insight, analysis and news on the burning issues of the day
Oleksandr Zinchenko is understood to be open to signing a new deal at Manchester City as Arsenal and West Ham United track the Ukraine defender.
This is a big close season for Zinchenko, who excelled in Ukraine’s two World Cup play-off games and has been an impressive ambassador for his war-torn nation since Russia’s invasion.
He is looking to establish himself as more of a fixture in the Premier League, having played 15 times for City, deputizing in midfield and at left-back as his versatility came to the fore.
Arsenal’s interest is concrete and the promise of more games would be a compelling reason to leave. City could command a substantial fee for the 25-year-old, who is also being monitored by West Ham.
But Zinchenko is not agitating to leave City. His team of him have been working on a summer plan and believe he has proved his worth at the Etihad, where he would be happy to negotiate over a new deal. His current contract from him has two years left to run but Zinchenko’s team would look for new terms that reflect his importance from him to the squad.
City are ones to watch in the summer transfer window, with the potential signing of Brighton’s Marc Cucurella one of a couple of deals being worked on.
Question marks over Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling persist, with the latter of interest to Chelsea.
The club are set to formally unveil star signing Erling Haaland in the week or so, with only a brief statement confirming his capture issued by City so far.
Ashworth revolution begins
Dan Ashworth checked in at Newcastle United this week with a promise to revamp the club’s entire football operation – and he hasn’t wasted any time getting grips with what’s required.
Newcastle are adding two first team analysts to their staff over the summer, including a data analyst, in a sign of the club’s desire to grow their analysis department to the levels of their Premier League rivals.
The club’s job advert claims the Magpies are “expanding and developing [their] first team performance analysis department” over the close season. They want both roles in place by the end of June and in time for pre-season, which starts in July.
Ashworth wants to see football operations working in a more “joined up” manner at Newcastle and is certain to beef up the club’s loans department. He met Shola Ameobi, the club’s loan manager, on Monday and Newcastle are set for an overhaul in how they work with their young players.
Off the field, the club hope to tie up a deal for Lille’s Sven Botman, but the player also has interest from Paris Saint Germain. Newcastle believe they can tempt him with the offer of guaranteed first team football and a long-term contract offer.
Middlesbrough and Sheffield United have an interest in striker Dwight Gayle, who may depart on loan this summer.
Winger keen on Bradford return
Luton winger Dion Perriera is understood to be keen on a return to Bradford City – but the Championship club want to see him in pre-season first, which could complicate matters.
Perriera excelled on loan and would be a popular signing for Mark Hughes, but the Bantams want to have the majority of their squad in place before pre-season starts in a few weeks.
Whether they will hang on until the end of the summer is uncertain as they pursue other winger targets, with Charles Vernam edging towards the Valley Parade exit after the deadline to accept his contract offer passed. Luton boss Nathan Jones is looking to go one better this season after an impressive run to the Championship play-offs last season and could incorporate him into his plans.