Newcastle United have joined the race to sign RB Salzburg forward Noah Okafor, according to reports.
What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Noah Okafor?
As per Italian outlet Il Mattino, Newcastle have joined the growing list of clubs keen on signing Okafor this summer, including Liverpool and Napoli – who view him as a potential replacement for Victor Osimhen should he leave Naples.
The piece suggests that Salzburg have set the 22-year-old’s price tag at €25m (£22m), which would be pocket change to PIF as they back sporting director Dan Ashworth to strengthen the side for what looks increasingly like Champions League football next season.
Why are Newcastle interested in Okafor?
He made his debut for the Switzerland national team aged 19 in 2019 and has since made 14 appearances, scoring twice.
During his time playing for the national under-21 side – in which he scored four goals in eight matches – he was lauded as “magnificent” by his manager and former Switzerland striker Mauro Lustrinelli.
Okafor has led the line impressively for his side this season, scoring seven and assisting three in the Austrian Bundesliga, as well as adding three in six in the Champions League.
These included a late equaliser against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in September in Graham Potter’s first game in charge at the Blues.
With Calum Wilson now aged 30 and possibly seeing his playing time slowing down, and Alexander Isak struggling with a hamstring injury this season that kept him out for thirteen games, a striker for the future will surely be high on the priority list for Ashworth.
Okafor could be an ideal long-term replacement for the former Bournemouth man, as well as solid competition and cover for Isak going forward.
The £13k-per-week man is rapid and can also play on both the right and left wing, which would give Howe more options going forward and variation in attack.
At the price quoted, it would seem a simple decision for Newcastle to move for the 6-foot speedster who has averaged just over a goal contribution per game during his time at RB Salzburg.
Now, it is down to Ashworth to sell the Newcastle project to Okafor and persuade him to make the move from Austria to the northeast of England.