Newcastle Transfer News: Leeds United Target Magpies' Mike Williamson

Could Willo's time on Tyneside finally be up?

Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson could be on his way out of St James' Park this summer, with Leeds United reportedly considering making a move for the centre-back. The Mirror claims that Leeds are aiming to recruit three defenders this summer and that Williamson is one of their key targets alongside Gareth McAuley. While McAuley's West Bromwich Albion contract is up next month and so he could move to Elland Road on a free transfer, Newcastle would demand a fee of around £1.5 million for Williamson.
With the Magpies having reportedly been offered Schalke defender Joel Matip in a £10 million deal, and with the club keen to strengthen at centre-back, Williamson could be allowed to depart should recruits be found. The Chronicle even claims Williamson is open to a move to a Championship club, having been accused by interim boss John Carver of getting himself "deliberately" sent off during the Magpies€™ 3-0 loss at Leicester City in May. The 31-year-old arrived at Newcastle from Portsmouth in a £2 million deal in January 2010 and he has made 169 appearances for the club, scoring once. However, Williamson has often been criticised for his inability to handle the pace of the Premier League - and for his often aimless lofted balls up front.
Despite enjoying a mini-revival during the 2013-14 campaign having previously been dropped, Williamson was part of a dreadful Magpies defence who conceded 63 goals in the Premier League last season - the second highest in the division. Although the Magpies are short at centre-back - with only Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor being out-and-out central defenders, although Paul Dummett and Daryl Janmaat have also deputised there - they are keen to recruit this summer. That could mean that the former Torquay United, Wycombe Wanderers and Watford defender could be allowed to move on if Steve McClaren is given the chance to overhaul his squad. For all the latest NUFC News, Views and Transfers make sure to follow on Twitter and Facebook.
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NUFC editor for History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.