Transfer journalist Ryan Taylor has claimed that Newcastle United transfer target Azzedine Ounahi has held talks over his future.
Ounahi put in some star performances for Morocco, which has led to him being linked with a move away in January – and Newcastle are said to be interested as well as other ‘big clubs’, according to the Angers president.
It appears that Newcastle could well be in the market for a new midfielder given the number of links to the likes of Ounahi, Enzo Fernandez and James Maddison of late, but it’s the former who could perhaps be most attainable given he’s already been speaking to Angers about his future.
And speaking on his YouTube channel, Taylor highlighted Ounahi’s desire to leave the French side next month.
He said: “Ounahi is a player who’s attracting huge interest. He plays for Angers, who are bottom of Ligue 1 and there’s already been internal meetings behind the scenes at Angers about his future.
Will Newcastle finish in the top seven?
“They expect the player to move on, because quite simply, if they’re bottom of the French league, they can’t expect to keep a player that has performed that well. And ultimately, [there is] the chance to receive a respectable figure as well – a fee could help them sign a few players that keep them afloat.
“Interestingly, Angers would actually like to keep him until the end of the season on loan, but they’re willing to agree a deal which would see him leave this summer, and around about £35m is the asking price.”
TIF Thoughts on Ounahi…
It certainly won’t be easy for Newcastle to land Ounahi given the level of interest in him after the World Cup, but considering the Magpies’ options in midfield, they could well be a viable destination for the Morocco international as they could willingly loan him back to Angers until the end of the season.
The Magpies already have players such as Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey looking for regular first-team minutes in midfield, so bringing in Ounahi halfway through the season could potentially disrupt the balance and harmony in that area of the pitch.
Therefore, signing him in January with a view to a permanent switch in the summer could work out for everyone, as Angers would keep a star player as they fight against relegation, Ounahi gets regular guaranteed first-team minutes and the Magpies have a few months to prepare for his arrival.