According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle have had a big-money big for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare turned down.
Reports back in the January transfer window suggested that the Magpies were interested in the France international, but a deal failed to materialise before the end of the deadline.
Now, Romano has claimed that Steve Bruce’s side remain keen on Soumare, and lodged a €35m (£32.2m) bid including add-ons to Lille – an offer that was rejected by the Ligue 1 outfit.
It remains to be seen whether Newcastle go back in with a new and improved bid for the 21-year-old in the closing weeks of this transfer window.
For all the ‘drama’ that may come with Manchester United star Paul Pogba, there’s no questioning that he is still a player with incredible talent.
A World Cup winner with France, the central midfielder has produced some impressive returns for the Red Devils, scoring 32 goals and providing 33 assists in 164 games.
In the 6 foot 2 Soumare, Newcastle could get their own Pogba, with Sky Sports reporter Gary Cotterill even claiming that a source had told him that the Lille starlet is like the United midfielder, but “without the baggage“.
It’s no surprise that Lille president Gerard Lopez has waxed lyrical about the French side’s prodigy, declaring: “He’s one of the very best at his job.He’s technical, with incredible physical power and wins a great deal of possession. He’s a modern No.6 or 8. We’ll see him in the France team very soon. He’s a clear vision of where he wants to go and he’s working very hard to get there.”
Just like Pogba, Soumare is at his best when he’s driving forward from the heart of the midfield, and was particularly impressive in Lille’s Champions League run last season. He averaged three dribbles per game in the group stages, which actually put him in the top ten amongst all players in the competition.
It may take big-money to bring him in, but Newcastle could land an absolute gem.