Newcastle United are reportedly keen on a deal for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, according to reports in Holland.
As per Voetbaul Primeur, the Magpies are ‘very interested’ in securing the services of the 24-year-old this summer, albeit with the Dutch outfit ‘yet to receive’ a concrete offer to sign the Ivorian.
The former Toulouse man – who joined the Eredivisie side in 2020 – will likely command a fee in the region of €40m (£34m), owing to a release clause in his existing deal.
The 17-cap international had reportedly been a target for Eddie Howe and co in January, with it looking as if they will rekindle that interest, albeit with Premier League rivals Leicester City also believed to be tracking his progress.
Although a largely unknown figure for most in England, the £14.4-rated gem caught the eye in the recent Europa Conference League quarter-final clash with the Foxes, with former coach Aad de Mos insisting that he is “better on one leg” than Brendan Rodgers’ midfield.
The glowing praise does not end there, however, with former boss Alain Casanova dubbing him “very complete”, while journalist Alpha Balde insisted that “he’s like Yaya Toure”, as well as making comparisons with former Chelsea man, Michael Essien.
Those similarities to Toure, in particular, will likely have piqued the interest of those on Tyneside, with the one-time Manchester City powerhouse having proven himself one of the Premier League’s most influential players during his time at the Etihad.
In 230 league games for the club, the former Barcelona giant netted 63 goals and registered 32 assists, notably bagging a remarkable haul of 20 league goals during the 2013/14 campaign.
While Sangare is yet to post anywhere near such prolific numbers – with just seven club career goals to date – there is hope that he could mirror the progression of his compatriot, with Toure having begun life as a defensive-minded asset, before blossoming into a playmaking gem.
As Balde alluded to, physically the duo share notable similarities, with the younger man just fractionally taller at 6 foot 3, with his size and stature making him a real commanding presence in the centre of the park.
This season, the £27k-per-week brute has averaged an impressive 2.6 interceptions and 3.3 tackles per game, while also winning 74% of his total aerial duels, with his average match rating of 7.38 only bettered by Kieran Tripper among the Magpies’ current squad this season.
Should PIF be able to use their financial muscle to see off any competitors, in Sangare the St James’ Park outfit could have a real talent on their hands, with hope that Howe can help mould him into his own all-action, Toure.