I have written previously how here in the Tavern we love it when local rivalries spill into the transfer market, and today we have one of these situations arising, as North East rivals Newcastle United and Sunderland look set to battle it out over Senegalese striker Moussa Sow who is currently plying his trade in French top flight Ligue 1.
The highly sought after striker has also attracted intense interest from Italian side Juventus as well as French side PSG.
The striker was born in France and began his career playing for Rennes and initially made most of his appearances in the cup competitions. He was not particularly prolific during his time with the club, managing a scoring record of just 12 goals in 82 games during a period of 4 years. His contract with Rennes eventually expired and in June 2010 he signed a three year contract with Lille where he has become a prolific goalscorer.
This season he is the top scorer in the French top flight having scored 17 goals in 26 appearances. Even though he represented France at under-21 level, the forward decided that he would play for Senegal as a full international and on the world stage he has also looked impressive notching up 2 goals in 7 appearances.
The 25 year old has demonstrated that when given good service he can be an excellent goal scorer, he is quick and athletic and would probably adapt fairly well to a more challenging league. Interest in the player is high, should he chose to stay in France there his interest in him from PSG, but since he is currently playing for the side top of the league in the country, would such a move be particularly attractive?
Juventus are rebuilding and going through a period of transformation, they have watched Sow on numerous occasions and it is thought they will be ready to move for the player this Summer, this could really be a hard move to resist, but what of the Premier League interest.
Sunderland have a plethora of attacking talent, however should they lose Danny Wellbeck this Summer, they could be looking at extra bodies and they still need to replace Darren Bent so a move to the Stadium of Light would not be a bad decision. Fierce rivals Newcastle are obviously looking to replace a striker of their own and they are in more need in many ways. They will get by with Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Leon Best, Nile Ranger and at a push Shefki Kuqi until the end of the season but this Summer they will have to move for a quality striker and Sow could be that man.
The reported fee would be around £7million which really isn’t a huge outlay for either club especially on the back of their big money January exits. I however would remain slightly cautious in that Sow has only really looked prolific this season, and in previous years he has flattered to deceive, racking up that amount of goals in a season is impressive, but both clubs need to ensure that this isn’t just a flash in the pan!
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