That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet Calciomercato (via Sport Witness), who claim that, after reportedly seeing a €30m (£26.5m) bid for the ACF Fiorentina forward knocked back by the Serie A side, Eddie Howe will have to raise his offer to around €50m (£44m), as well as give the 24-year-old a deal worth €5m (£4.5m) a year, in order to land the winger this month.
The report goes on to suggest that, should the Magpies do as such, Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso will ‘hardly have the strength for a new refusal’ regarding the departure of the Argentina international, while Leicester City are also believed to be keeping a close eye on the situation of the flanker ahead of potentially launching their own move this winter.
Considering just how impressive Gonzalez has been in Italy since his move from VfB Stuttgart back in the summer of 2021, coupled with the frequent injury setbacks suffered by Allan Saint-Maximin so far this season, it is not difficult to understand why Howe would be interested in a move to bring the Fiorentina sensation to St. James’ Park this January.
Indeed, over his 33 Serie A appearances in 2021/22, the £19.5m-rated talent was in electric form going forwards, scoring seven goals, registering six assists and creating seven big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.2 shots, making 1.1 key passes and completing 1.7 dribbles – at a success rate of 50% – per game.
The £55k-per-week winger – who can operate anywhere across the front three – also impressed in a defensive capacity last time out, making an average of 0.6 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, regaining possession 0.5 times and winning 7.3 duels – at a success rate of 54% – per match.
These returns saw the player who statistician OptaPaolo dubbed “magic” average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.13, not only ranking him as La Viola’s best performer in the league but also as the joint 30th-best player in the top flight of Italian football as a whole last season.
Furthermore, former Stuttgart manager Pellegrino Matarazzo previously praised Gonzalez’s drive to succeed, with the American coach stating of the 24-year-old forward: “He’s got a lot of qualities, but what I like best about him is that he’s a winner. He wants to win at all costs. He always gives 100% and gets stuck in. He’s very important for us.”
As such, with Gonzalez quite clearly being an attacker who is extremely efficient in the final third, is incredibly hard-working and boasts a winner’s mentality, the argument that Howe simply must raise his offer for the 21-cap Argentine this winter is an easy one to make – as the Fiorentina winger would undoubtedly add a bit of magic to an already sparkling Newcastle attack.