The lowdown: Off-limits…
Previously the Magpies had been perturbed in their admiration for Diaby when the Bundesliga club’s director of sport Simon Rolfes told the Express that no sale would be possible this summer.
However, despite the hands-off warning and the lofty price tag, the interest in the Frenchman from St James’ Park hasn’t subsided as Eddie Howe attempts to add yet more attacking flair to the ranks.
Now it seems as though the move for the 22-year-old is progressing and the Toon club could be about to smash their transfer record in order to make it happen…
The latest: Record breakers
Writing in his latest piece for 90min, transfer expert Graeme Bailey has revealed that Newcastle are believed to be ‘gearing up’ to spend their highest ever fee in order to bring Diaby to the North East.
It’s claimed that ‘sources’ close to the outlet have confirmed that the Toon have ‘done considerable scouting work’ on the transfer and representatives from both parties have been ‘talking’ recently.
The report also states that Newcastle hold an interest in Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi and Everton starlet Anthony Gordon but it’s the man hailed for a ‘phenomenal’ display by reputable football analyst Statman Dave against Borussia Dortmund in 2021 who is considered the ‘top target’ this summer.
The verdict: Break the bank
Available for a reported £60mn, signing Diaby – who can play on either wing as well as in central attacking positions – would shatter the current record expenditure of £39.6million that saw Joelinton arrive from Hoffenheim.
But, despite the eye-watering fee, after 17 goals and 14 assists in 42 appearances across all competitions last season for Leverkusen, the eight-cap Frenchman would be a sensational capture to mark the new era in the North East.
Overall, Diaby earned a 7.07 Sofascore rating comprising of 1.8 successful dribbles, making 1.9 key passes and taking 1.7 shots on average per outing in the German top-flight – highlighting the attacking prowess that makes him a close stylistic match for such names as Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling and Son Heung-min (Fbref).
Ultimately, if Dan Ashworth and PIF can pull this one off, the St James’ Park faithful should be excited over the prospect of watching the explosive winger in action next season.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience