Newcastle United could sign a perfect alternative to Arsenal star Joe Willock with a move for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
After another difficult season in the Premier League this year, the Magpies will be keen to turn their attentions towards the summer transfer window and how best to strengthen the squad ahead of the new season.
The report adds that Newcastle have long held an interest in the Lille ace, with Bruce confirming earlier this year that the Magpies even had a big-money bid rejected for him. Now, it seems that the Foxes, and the likes of Everton and Leeds have all entered the race too.
While trying to sign Willock on a permanent deal will surely be one of Bruce’s transfer priorities this summer – the Magpies boss has repeatedly said he wants to start negotiations with the Gunners to that effect – as a young, talented English midfielder, he will surely come at a premium, even in this deflated market.
In Soumare, Bruce could land a potentially cheaper alternative, given the financial struggles being endured by French sides this season. And, the 22-year-old isn’t a mug on the pitch either.
Lille president Gerard Lopez has previously raved about about the Frenchman, saying: “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.”
And, his teammate at Lille, Renato Sanches, said: “He’s a great player. He’s so young and a great talent – a happy and humble guy. I don’t know when he’s going. It’s not my business. But he will be a good player in the future. Even better than now. He’s athletic. He’s fast. He’s strong. He has technique. He’s prepared for the Premier League.”
If Willock does prove to be too expensive and out of reach for the Magpies, then Newcastle must absolutely look to tie up a deal for Soumare, especially after reports they were in for him before too.