Newcastle have 'put in the hard yards' for £55m signing at St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Newcastle United hope to be ‘ahead of anyone else’ in the race to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby but they will ‘undoubtedly’ face competition, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Eddie Howe bolstered his squad further during the summer transfer window, splashing out over £100 million on recruits, but failed to land a top target.

What is the latest on Diaby?

The 23-year-old was the subject of interest from Newcastle throughout the latest transfer period but there remained a large gap between the two clubs’ valuation of the player.

Leverkusen were reportedly demanding £55 million for the winger, whose contract expires in the summer of 2025, as they looked to hold onto their star player.

Diaby himself put reports of a transfer to bed in July when he confirmed he would be playing at the BayArena in the 2022-23 campaign.

Arsenal were also looking to tempt the eight-cap France international to the Emirates Stadium this summer but faced the same problems as Newcastle in landing the 44-goal ace.

The Magpies ultimately failed to strengthen their wide areas, despite also targeting the likes of Jack Harrison of Leeds United and Harvey Barnes of Leicester City.  

What has Jones said on Diaby?

Jones understands that Newcastle will face competition in their efforts to sign the winger in future transfer windows.

However, the journalist adds that the groundwork put in by the Magpies in the summer will leave them confident of winning the race.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “There will undoubtedly be competition for Diaby, he is brilliant. Newcastle have put in the hard yards already though so they will hope that if they want to pick up again on that transfer, they would be ahead of anyone else.”

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Mark Stimson - Newcastle United

Do you know this obscure Newcastle United footballer from the 1990s?

Will Newcastle be willing to splash out on him?

Now backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Newcastle are the richest club in world football.

The January transfer window saw them spend £90 million to add to this summer’s outlay, so they will definitely not be shy in future windows either.

Howe oversaw the club-record purchase of Alexander Isak this summer too, who arrived for £63 million, showing that they had the funds to match Leverkusen’s asking price for Diaby had they felt inclined to.

It may well have proven to be Diaby’s personal stance on his future that put Newcastle off pushing through a deal. But that is something that could well change before future windows swing open.

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