Newcastle's are in talks with Marseille over the transfer of 22-year-old winger Florian Thauvin.
The transfer fee is rumoured to be around £13 million with playmaker Remy Cabella moving the opposite direction on loan (according to Sky Sports), a player they spent the same amount on from Montpellier just last summer.
With the talented new recruits Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic arriving at St James' Park this summer, McClaren is looking for a player that will be able to feed the two of them from wide positions, and has highlighted Thauvin as the man.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Article continues below
While many Newcastle fans would rather see a centre back or defensive-minded central midfielder arrive, Thauvin will be sure to get them excited. Anyone that has watched Newcastle this season will have noticed their porous defence, but also a lack of attacking flair on the wings - frankly Gabriel Obertan doesn't really cut the mustard.
The Frenchman Thauvin will bring a much-needed direct and creative approach to the Magpies' attacking play with his eye-catching dribbling and efficient crossing ability.
Thauvin is renowned for his versatility, which is perhaps the main reason McClaren is so keen on the Frenchman. Where we will probably see him used most for Newcastle will be on the right wing, as he aims to drop a shoulder and cut inside onto his favoured left foot.
Conversely he may also provide competition for Wijnaldum in the central attacking midfield position, who is himself capable of playing on either of the flanks. Tactically speaking - the three playing behind the striker will most likely fluidly change positions throughout the match in a similar way that Arsene Wenger uses his three-pronged attack of Sanchez, Ozil and Ramsey behind Olivier Giroud.
Florian Thauvin has been a household name for a number of years now following his various transfers, starting at Grenoble before moving to Bastia, Lille and then Marseille. At 22-years-old he is still young but his progress has been somewhat stuttering and he has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded him from a young age.
With only five goals and four assists for Marseille last season, it is perhaps unsurprising that he is still waiting for his first call up to the French senior squad. He needs to be much more consistent in his performances before he properly establishes himself on the international scene.
Newcastle may well be buying a star in Thauvin. He has all the raw materials to be a success in the Premier League and should pose defenders many problems with his pace, trickery and close control. However, the signing is a bit of a risk.
He has yet to find consistency in his game and could be rather lightweight for the physicality of the English league. Parallels have been drawn with Franck Ribery, Samir Nasri, Dimitri Payet and Hatem Ben Arfa for his style of play and footballing upbringing. Arsene Wenger has also labelled him as "one of the great hopes for French football" and confirmed that he himself has followed the winger's progression closely over the years.
Newcastle fans will hope that the French flyer will follow in the footsteps of successful import from across the channel in Moussa Sissoko, rather than be another under-performing Yoan Gouffran or Gabriel Obertan. It's up to Thauvin to make his mark. The talent is there - it's now down to attitude, application and adaptation.