Newcastle United have offered Atalanta €30million (£25.1million) for striker Duvan Zapata, according to Duncan Castles for The Daily Record.
Newcastle have already signed one striker this month in the form of Chris Wood. They activated the £25million release clause in the New Zealand frontman’s Burnley contract.
But it seems that Eddie Howe wants even more firepower at his disposal, with Zapata in the club’s sights as he enters the final 18 months of his contract in Bergamo.
Of course, Callum Wilson is out for the foreseeable future with a calf injury, and the Magpies will need all the help they can get in front of goal, having scored just 20 times in 20 top flight matches this term.
The report states that, while Atalanta are willing to sell, they want another €15million (or £12.5million) on top of Newcastle’s original offer.
Encouragingly though, Zapata is thought to be ‘open’ to joining Newcastle if a fee can be agreed.
Newcastle’s top target for the striker position is SL Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, but the Primeira Liga outfit are demanding just over £50million. ‘Sources close to the negotiations’ say Zapata is being lined up as an alternative.
He’s one of a number of ‘high-value’ targets Newcastle are working on.
His ‘quite incredible’ performances under Gian Piero Gasperini have, in the words of football journalist Maxi Angelo, made him ‘one of the most notorious strikers in Europe’, and at 6 foot 2 with tremendous physical strength it’s not hard to see him adjusting to life in the Premier League.
If he’s willing to trade Europa League football and a Serie A top-four battle for a relegation scrap, it suggests he’s certainly up for the fight.
But there is a question mark – do Newcastle really another striker approaching their twilight years? They’ve paid a sizeable fee for Wood, and Wilson is 29, while Wood and Zapata are both 30. From that point of view, you could also ask whether this is sensible squad-building.
In other news, Luke Edwards breaks some ‘difficult’ transfer news.
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