Newcastle United are reportedly interested in signing Lyon defender Malo Gusto in the New Year, although it could take a sizeable investment to prise the Frenchman from his current club.
According to the Daily Mail, Magpies sporting director Dan Ashworth is seemingly showing an interest in the 19-year-old ahead of the January transfer window, with the northeast side having joined the growing list of suitors who are chasing his signature.
The report does suggest, however, that the Tynesiders – as well as Premier League rivals Manchester United – could be forced to wait until the summer to make a concrete approach, with the Ligue 1 outfit demanding £35m if they are to sell their prized asset next month.
It’s also thought that the St James’ Park outfit are already keen on securing a potential heir for Kieran Trippier, 32, at right-back with Gusto among the names being mentioned at present.
Newcastle have already enjoyed notable success in securing the services of a Lyon player in recent times, with midfield talisman Bruno Guimaraes having joined from the French outfit on a £40m deal back in January.
The Brazilian international has since gone on to prove something of a revelation for Eddie Howe’s side in the calendar year thus far, having produced a string of “magnificent” displays for the club to date, as per Alan Shearer.
The “world-class” playmaker – as described by teammate Dan Burn – has scored eight goals and registered four assists in just 33 appearances for his new side in all competitions, including six goal contributions in just 13 league games so far this term.
With Howe and co already reaping the rewards of that winter addition, the Magpies could look to repeat that transfer masterclass by bringing in Guimaraes’ former teammate, Gusto, with the teenager currently shining for Laurent Blanc’s side.
The “special” talent – as lauded by one source – has been a truly impressive figure in his full-back berth, notably providing five assists in all competitions last term in what was a breakthrough campaign at senior level.
The £7k-per-week menace has provided a further assist from his 14 league outings in the current campaign, posing a notable threat down the right flank as he has created three big chances and averaged 1.3 key passes per game.
That quality in possession is further illustrated by the fact that the youngster ranks in the top 20% in Europe among those in his position for dribbles completed, as well as in the top 15% for pass completion.
The 5 foot 10 sensation has also showcased his defensive prowess of late after averaging 2.1 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game in Ligue 1, with that an almost identical record to the aforementioned Trippier, who has averaged 2.0 and 1.5 for the same two metrics, respectively.
That should illustrate that Gusto has what it takes to be a success at St James’ Park, with it set to prove another Guimaraes-esque masterclass if Ashworth can get a deal wrapped up in 2023.