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Newcastle: Dan Ashworth could find Saint-Maximin heir in Roger Fernandes

Newcastle United have already wrapped up one deal ahead of the January transfer window, with Australian sensation Garang Kuol having been signed from A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners back in September.

Speaking at the time of the 18-year-old’s capture, the Magpies’ sporting director Dan Ashworth revealed that the club were eyeing “exciting young players for the future” as part of their long-term project, as well as more established players to go straight into the first-team.

That recruitment drive to find promising talent is seemingly set to continue amid rumours that Brazilian sensation Andrey Santos is a target for the Tynesiders, as well as Argentine star Maximo Perrone.

Another sparkling gem who could well arrive at St James’ Park is 17-year-old, Roger Fernandes, with reports over the summer having suggested that the teenager was a target for Ashworth and co, with the Premier League side having seemingly been readying a ‘big money’ offer for his services – potentially as high as €25m (£21m)

The “very promising talent” – as described by writer Zach Lowy – had caught the attention after making his senior debut for current club Braga at the age of just 15 last year, going on to score three goals in just 11 games in the first-team last season.

Such an impact notably saw the promising asset lauded by former boss Carlos Carvalhal, with the one-time Swansea City boss describing the youngster as “something special” due to the winger’s level of preparation ahead of making his senior bow.

The Guinea-Bissau-born machine – who has five goals in 15 games for the Portuguese side’s U23 side – notably scored twice in a 6-0 thrashing of Arouca in the Primeira Liga last December, having made a stunning impact after being thrust into the first-team.

Although Roger has since been unable to feature this time around, that could seemingly work in Newcastle’s favour, with recent speculation suggesting that the northeast side are set to make another approach in the near future, albeit while making a lower offer due to the player’s lack of action.

While the 5 foot 7 man’s inability to feature this season may be of concern to Eddie Howe’s side, the former Bournemouth boss would no doubt love the chance to help develop what is an obvious talent over the coming years.

The arrival of the explosive wide man could well see Howe and Ashworth able to secure a potential long-term heir for Allan Saint-Maximin on the flanks, with the fleet-footed Frenchman facing something of an uncertain future at the club.

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The 25-year-old was notably tipped for a potential exit in the summer despite having become something of a cult figure at the club in recent years, while the former Nice ace has since gone on to score just once so far this season, having typically struggled with injury.

The pacy playmaker has routinely endured spells out on the treatment table due to a variety of injury issues in recent years, while his end product has also come under scrutiny at times when he has featured, with only 12 goals and 16 assists to his name in 93 top-flight games to date.

Should Saint-Maximin depart any time soon, Newcastle could seemingly replace the undoubtedly eye-catching talent with a player of huge potential in the form of Fernandes.