Bayer Leverkusen are reluctant to sell winger Moussa Diaby despite Newcastle United’s willingness to break their transfer record for the 22-year-old, claims journalist Graeme Bailey.
The Lowdown: Great season for Diaby
The France international enjoyed a fantastic campaign in the Bundesliga, having scored 13 goals and producing 12 assists across 32 matches.
Impressively, only Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller and RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku created more goals than the Leverkusen man.
After arriving in Germany in 2019 as a teenager, Diaby quickly established himself as a key player for Bayer 04, and he has now helped his club qualify for the Champions League with a third-place finish in the Bundesliga this season.
The Latest: Bailey’s news
“Bayer Leverkusen determined to keep Moussa Diaby despite Newcastle interest.”
In the adjacent 90min article, Bailey reports that Newcastle would be willing to break their transfer record and pay over £50m for Diaby after glowing reports from their scouts. However, he claims that this may not be enough.
Diaby does not have a release clause in his contract, and it is believed Leverkusen have made it clear to any interested parties that they are not going to entertain offers for the Frenchman.
The Verdict: Would be a fantastic signing
With Eddie Howe on the hunt for a direct winger who is clinical in front of goal, Diaby’s underlying stats illustrate why he would be a perfect fit for the Tyneside club.
As per FB Ref, the 22-year-old ranks in the 94th percentile for assists, in the 91st percentile for non-penalty goals, and in the 85th percentile for non-penalty expected goals plus expected assists, when compared with positional peers across Europe over the past year.
Described by Wolfsburg striker Nils Petersen as “incredibly dangerous and difficult to stop”, it is easy to see why Newcastle are so keen on signing the France international.
However, this deal won’t be easy to make, and it seems it will take a substantial fee to make Leverkusen budge and get the signing across the line.
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