Eddie Howe has identified second Newcastle January signing he wants after Kieran Trippier

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Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe wants to sign Manchester City defender Nathan Ake in January, according to reports. Newcastle are heavily linked with a move for Atletico Madrid and England right-back Kieran Trippier, who could become the Magpies first signing under their new ownership. And Ake could be the next player through the door at St James’ Park.

Newcastle are in desperate need of a boost to their squad next month.

Howe’s side currently sit 19th in the Premier League table, two points from safety.

But the three teams above them have games in hand, with Burnley playing the first of their four against Manchester United this evening.

And the defence is clearly an area Howe is keen to improve on as soon as the winter window opens.

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The Northern Echo claims Atletico are willing to let Trippier leave in January and a move to Newcastle is on the cards.

Howe will then look at signing Holland international Ake.

Ake, 26, made just his fifth Premier League start of the season in Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Brentford.

The former Bournemouth ace has been unable to win a spot in the middle of City’s defence, with the likes of Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones all ahead of him in the pecking order.

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The absence of Kyle Walker due to injury meant Ake played left-back at Brentford, with Joao Cancelo moving over to right-back.

But it looks extremely difficult for Ake to get regular game time under Pep Guardiola once every player is fit.

Therefore Newcastle could attempt to lure the defender with the promise of guaranteed playing time.

Newcastle have conceded 42 goals in their 19 matches so far this season, equal worst with bottom club Norwich.

There is no mention of how much Ake would cost next month but he still has three-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at the Etihad.

Meanwhile, Emil Krafth has been used by Howe at right-back in recent weeks.

His position will be under strong threat if Trippier does complete his move back to the Premier League.

Krafth believes the performance in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Monday was one of their best of the season.

“Yeah, I think it was one of them,” he said.

“We created a lot of chances against a very, very good side. And with a little bit of luck we could have won the game.

“It gives you a boost, when you see we can perform to a level like that. We just have to put in the hard work every day.”

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