Newcastle: Howe 'likes' £50m star 'open' to St James' Park switch

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe on the touchline

Newcastle United ‘like’ Moussa Diaby but a St James’ Park move may prove difficult thanks to Bayer Leverkusen’s asking price, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The Magpies have been busy in the early stages of the summer transfer window, with them already forking out close to £60million, but Diaby may prove to be too expensive.

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What’s the latest news involving Diaby?

According to The Sun, Bayer Leverkusen have slapped a £50million price tag on Diaby as they look to deter suitors from testing their resolve.

The report suggest Newcastle and Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain have shown an interest in the eight-cap France international, but Leverkusen are desperate to keep him on their books.

Agreeing to meet the Bundesliga outfit’s demands would result in the Magpies being willing to make Diaby the most expensive signing in their entire history.

They have potentially been boosted in their pursuit as journalist Ben Jacobs has revealed the 22-year-old is open to securing a big-money move to St James’ Park.

However, Leverkusen are in a strong negotiating position and are not in an immediate need to sell their prised asset as Diaby still has three years remaining on his £48,000-per-week contract.

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What has Alex Crook said about Diaby?

Crook understands Newcastle are admirers of Diaby but, despite being the richest club in world football, they could be priced out of making a move.

The talkSPORT reporter understands co-owner Amanda Staveley, sporting director Dan Ashworth and boss Eddie Howe are refusing to bow to what they perceive to be inflated price tags.

Crook told GIVEMESPORT: “They do like Diaby, but I think £50million is a bit rich for Newcastle at this stage.

“They’re determined not to pay over the odds for players. Dan Ashworth, Amanda Staveley and Eddie Howe are all very much on the same song sheet with that.”

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Why is Diaby of interest to Newcastle?

Diaby enjoyed a hugely productive 2021/22 campaign as he found the back of the net 17 times and contributed a further 14 assists.

The winger’s stunning form allowed him to finish the season with an average match rating of 7.09, according to WhoScored.

Allan Saint-Maximin has made Newcastle’s left-hand side his own in recent years, but statistics show Diaby averaged more goals, assists, shots on target and a better pass completion rate last term, so it is easy to see why he has worked his way onto the Magpies’ radar.

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