Newcastle United continue to be impressed by long-term target Moussa Diaby, according to reports.
What’s the latest on Newcastle’s pursuit of Diaby?
In a new piece on The Athletic, journalist Chris Waugh has revealed the 23-year-old winger is continuing to impress those in power at St James’ Park, who have been keeping tabs on him for some time.
Waugh suggests that Newcastle felt a move for Diaby was too expensive last summer, but his standout performances in the Bundesliga this season have continued to catch the eye.
“Moussa Diaby has also been tracked long-term, but Newcastle felt he was too expensive last summer. The 23-year-old winger has continued to impress, with eight goals and four assists in the Bundesliga this season, but whether he is a firm option has yet to be determined.”
This summer it is believed that sporting director Dan Ashworth will be trusted with significant investment from PIF to carry out their transfer strategy described by George Caulkin and Waugh in The Athletic as luring the best up-and-coming talent, who are 24 or under and can grow with the club.
Diaby certainly fits that description and would prove an exciting arrival with extremely high potential in the North East
However, with German football journalist Patrick Berger stating Diaby’s price is still likely to be €75million (£68million) and “huge” bonuses, it remains to be seen whether the Bayer Leverkusen is to be a firm option or not for the Magpies.
Additionally, Diaby’s current £49k-per-week contract is not due to expire until the summer of 2025 leaving Leverkusen in a very strong position to try and keep hold of one of their key players and assets.
Why are Newcastle so keen on Diaby?
The nine-cap international has enjoyed another brilliant season for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, scoring eight times and notching four assists in 24 league games so far this term.
He also ranks third in the league for progressive carries (89), second for progressive passes received (189), has created an impressive 12 big chances, and averages 1.8 key passes and 1.2 shots on target per 90.
Fbref name Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah as the two most similar players to Diaby, followed by Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Junior.
Being likened to this calibre of player shows the ability and potential of the Paris-born star who has been praised as ‘“supernatural” by his former coach Morade Djeddi.
With maverick wideman Allan Saint-Maximin struggling for form and fitness this campaign, and £45m January acquisition for Everton Anthony Gordon failing to make any sort of impact yet, the arrival of Diaby would be a real statement of intent from PIF as they look to turn Newcastle into Champions League regulars and Premier League contenders.