Newcastle United are reportedly leading the race to sign Central Coast Mariners teenager Garang Kuol ahead of the January transfer window.
FIFA rules dictated that he could not be signed as a 17-year-old but given that he will turn 18 in a few weeks, Newcastle will be free to swoop for him in January, although he might need to be loaned out in order to earn a work permit at the club.
The teenage forward has hit four goals and one assist in his first nine appearances for the Central Coast Mariners and has earned praise from Barcelona legend Xavi after he appeared in a friendly against the Catalan giants earlier this year, with the Spanish manager dubbing him “unbelievable“.
Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery also sang Kuol’s praises after he signed his first professional contract with the club.
He said: “I brought Garang to the club as a 16-year-old into the Academy program and what he has achieved in this short space of time doesn’t surprise me as he is a massive talent.”
Therefore, it seems clear that the youngster from South Sudan has a very bright future in football and Newcastle could be the ones to benefit if they seal what would likely be a bargain deal for Kuol in the January transfer window.
Newcastle appointed Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director in June and he has already overseen the signings of two top young talents in Sven Botman and Alexander Isak, having earned a reputation for spotting talent in his time at Brighton.
Indeed, he picked up Tariq Lamptey for under £1m, Marc Cucurella for only £15m and Liverpool-linked Moises Caicedo for £4.5m. Clearly an effective hand in the transfer market, he could well secure similar moves for Newcastle and Kuol would be first-hand evidence of that.
Whether or not he becomes a £60m player like Cucurella remains to be seen but there is certainly plenty to suggest he has a bright future in the game.
While he is unlikely to trouble Howe’s first-team squad any time soon, the rave reviews he is getting from Australia suggest he could be a great long-term addition. This may well be another magic piece of business by Ashworth.