Newcastle United are still monitoring former Manchester City and AS Monaco forward Rony Lopes despite the Brazil-born attacker completing a summer move to Sevilla, according to the Chronicle.
Lopes has retained his place on the Magpies’ scouting list, as the North East side are keen to complete a January transfer mission on improving the wide options at Steve Bruce’s disposal.
Bruce has been limited somewhat with who he can deploy on the wings since his arrival at St. James’ Park in the summer, as the former Sheffield Wednesday head coach lost Allan Saint-Maximin soon into his Toon career due to a hamstring injury.
Matt Ritchie has also been sidelined in recent weeks following an ankle injury sustained from a tackle by Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury in the Carabao Cup, leaving Christian Atsu as the only recognised out-and-out wide man in the senior fold.
Bruce is now keen to bolster his ranks in the winter market with powerful and pacey options after being informed that money will be available for further additions, providing they fit Newcastle’s agenda, and one player in mind is Sevilla’s Lopes.
Lopes only joined the La Liga outfit in the summer for €20million (£17.7m), when he signed a five-year deal (Marca) at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium after four years at Monaco.
Newcastle were linked with a move for the Benfica product shortly before his transfer to Spain, with L’Equipe (via Sport Witness) suggesting the Magpies were chasing the trails of Sevilla’s advances in the days leading up to the English deadline.
Lopes was thought to be longing for a move back to the Premier League at the time of the reports, too, as he feels he has unfinished business in the country from his stint at Manchester City.
Those feelings may now support a transfer to Newcastle, as the 23-year-old has only played 93 minutes for Sevilla (TransferMarkt) since his arrival in Spain, and has been left out of Julen Lopetegui’s matchday squad on four occasions in La Liga.
Newcastle making a move to sign Lopes in the summer could have avoided the Toon falling into the situation they currently find themselves in regarding depth in wide numbers, as the Portuguese forward was an instrumental figure in the Monaco side over the past few seasons, despite their struggles in Ligue 1 last term.
In 24 French top-flight encounters during the 2018/19 campaign, Lopes featured in the starting XI on 22 occasions (TransferMarkt). From those, he recorded two goals and penned three assists, having excelled under Leonardo Jardim the campaign before with 15 Ligue 1 strikes and seven assists to his name.
However, given he has only recently signed for Sevilla, Newcastle launching a successful winter raid on Spain would be unlikely without Lopes falling out with manager Lopetegui and angling for a way out of the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
Newcastle fans, should the Magpies have looked to snap up Lopes late in the summer window? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Newcastle notifications!