The Midlands club have been trying to extend the 18-year-old’s contract for nine months to no avail. They believe that the offer they have made is ‘competitive‘ and consider Chukwuemeka’s wage demands to be ‘too high’.
Steven Gerrard consequently decided to leave the midfielder at home when he took his squad to Australia for pre-season.
Chukwuemeka’s deal expires next summer, and if he runs it down, his new club will only have to pay £400,000 in compensation. However, if one of his suitors wants to buy him this summer, talkSPORT report that they’ll have to shell out around £20m.
The Athletic‘s Newcastle correspondent Chris Waugh wrote that the Magpies are ‘closely monitoring’ the ‘stand-off’ between Chukwuemeka and the Villans, adding that Eddie Howe’s side ‘could look to bolster their midfield ranks’ by signing the starlet.
However, the reporter cautions that ‘leading European clubs’ are also in contention for the teenager, with colleagues Gregg Evans and James Horncastle naming Barcelona and AC Milan as interested parties.
Newcastle may have an opportunity to win the race for Chukwuemeka if they agree to meet Villa’s demands this year. Barcelona and Milan are confident that they can agree personal terms but have baulked at the potential £20m fee.
There is of course a temptation to wait and move for the player when he’ll cost £19.6m less, but this may be the Magpies’ best hope of landing him.
Should Newcastle sign Chukwuemka?
Encouragingly, transfer insider Dean Jones believes that Chukwuemeka would regard a move to St James’ Park as an ‘exciting’ option.
The teenager, who made the Team of the Tournament after helping England to win the European Under-19 Championship in recent weeks, has been dubbed an ‘elegant‘ footballer by Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, so it’s little wonder that Newcastle are keeping tabs on events at Villa Park to see if they can take advantage of the teenager’s contract impasse.
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