Mike Ashley could land Newcastle United their next Allan Saint-Maximin by signing Independiente sensation Alan Velasco in the January transfer window.
According to El Intransigente, the Magpies are one of a number of potential suitors monitoring Velasco’s situation in the mid-season market, with Parma and Club America providing worldwide competition for the 18-year-old.
Parma are intent on striking a winter deal for the left-winger, as they consider the Argentina U17 international as a weapon who can aid their efforts in securing European qualification after re-establishing themselves as a Serie A side.
Velasco is seen to be one of Argentina’s great jewels after proving his enormous potential at a tender age, having become a staple of Lucas Pusineri’s side in 2020, though Independiente accept it is only a matter of time before he leaves the Estadio Libertadores de America.
Independiente would prefer to retain the diminutive 5 ft 5 forward, who is protected by a $23.5m (£17.5m) release clause, but accept that his sale would help solve several issues with the club facing Fifa-imposed lawsuits for non-compliance with transfer payments.
Velasco provided each of his career three goals and three assists in senior football last year, while Independiente never lost when the Quilmes-born attacker influenced the scoreline.
Mike Ashley providing the funds needed for Independiente to consider selling Velasco in the January market could see the Newcastle owner hand Steve Bruce the Toon’s next Saint-Maximin, having seen the St. James’ Park natives struggle without the Frenchman.
“We’re missing him at the moment. He’s had an up and down time, he needs to find that consistency like we all do, if he really wants to hit the heights. When he is on song there is no better sight is there? He gets you on the edge of your seat,” Bruce told the Chronicle.
Velasco could be the one to bring the same level of excitement to St. James’ Park if signed, having proved a creative wonder in South America to warrant vivid transfer interest from Europe.
The youth international made seven of his appearances in the 2020 Copa Sudamericana, in which he also contributed one of his three goals and two of his assists thanks to creating an average 2.9 chances a game with 1.5 shots and 1.4 key passes, per SofaScore.
He additionally offered 15.8 of his 19.9 total passes a game in the opponent’s half, plus 1.1 successful tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 3.0 successful dribbles and wining 5.3 ground duels, with opponents forced into committing 1.1 fouls a game.
Velasco may be small and relatively unknown in England, but may prove the old cliché of the best things coming in small packages true with a successful move to St. James’ Park this winter.