Newcastle United have reportedly made a move to sign Flamengo sensation, Matheus Franca, with the Magpies looking to win the race for the Brazilian’s signature.
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Tynesiders have lodged a bid of around €16m (£14m) in order to prise the 18-year-old from his homeland, albeit with Ligue 1 side Lyon and La Liga giants Real Madrid also said to be monitoring the teenager.
Writing on Twitter about that developing story, the transfer guru stated: “Excl: Newcastle have submitted a new proposal for Brazilian talent Matheus França, offering €16m package to Flamengo.
“Understand Matheus França is also in Olympique Lyon list — Real Madrid have sent scouts to monitor him in Brazil as well.”
This follows a recent report from 90min that revealed the northeast side were in talks regarding a move for the promising forward, with Eddie Howe and co said to be ‘growing in confidence’ that a deal can be struck.
A new attacking recruit has become something of a priority for the top-four hopefuls this month, with the impending loan exit of striker Chris Wood to Nottingham Forest having only further laid bare the need for an extra body to bolster the forward line.
The New Zealand international has seemingly been allowed to depart after enduring an underwhelming stint at St James’ Park over the last 12 months, after initially signing on a £25m deal from Burnley midway through the previous campaign.
The 31-year-old brute has since gone on to score just five goals in 39 appearances for Newcastle in that time, having seemingly failed to warrant his rather hefty price tag.
With that “strange” move – as described at the time by talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor – having perhaps panned out as expected, Howe could well land a big upgrade on the experienced marksman bringing the youthful Franca into the fold.
The versatile ace can seemingly “play almost everywhere” according to Kulig, although the 6 foot dynamo has typically thrived in a centre-forward berth of late.
Not just a clinical presence in front of goal, the Rio-born menace also offers a real creative spark in attack as he averages 3.33 progressive passes and 2.18 dribbles completed per game, with the aforementioned Wood only averaging 0.86 and 0.16 in those same two metrics, respectively.
Equally, the sparkling youngster also offers far more defensively as he averages 2.05 tackles and 0.38 interceptions per game over the past year, while the outgoing Magpies dud averages only 0.37 tackles and 0.16 interceptions per 90.
That should further indicate that Newcastle would be securing a real upgrade if they can strike a deal for Franca in the coming weeks, with the misfiring Wood seemingly set to be swiftly replaced.