Newcastle have £12.5m transfer option in their back pocket if ‘priority’ move fails

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Newcastle are ‘observing’ Bamba Dieng’s situation at Marseille and could make a late swoop towards the end of the transfer window, according to reports. The Magpies have shown an interest in the £12.5million-rated 22-year-old. 

Head coach Eddie Howe is yet to strengthen his attacking options despite that being a key priority ahead of the transfer window. The former Bournemouth boss has been keen to sign a new striker in a bid to improve his side’s goal record. 

Dieng, who can play as both a winger and a striker, had been looked at ahead of the transfer window. Newcastle and other Premier League clubs, including Crystal Palace and Fulham, are believed to have shown an interest in signing the Senegal international. 

Marseille want £12.5m for the player, who also has interest from rival French clubs. Newcastle do not currently view Dieng as a priority signing but could target a transfer towards the end of the transfer window. 

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That is according to L’Equipe, who claim that the Saudi-backed Magpies are ‘observing’ Dieng’s situation. It means they could make a move for the player later this month if they fail to sign their alternative targets. 

Howe urged the club’s new owners to speed up transfer discussions earlier this summer, but there are yet to be more incomings at St. James’ Park since the start of the Premier League season. Nick Pope and Sven Botman are their only fresh arrivals, while Matt Targett’s loan deal from Aston Villa was made permanent. 

Newcastle are no closer to any new signings, according to Howe. He said ahead of the Tyneside club’s clash with Brighton at the weekend: “I am really sorry to say no [news on signings]. I am sorry to keep giving you the same answers. I want to give you a different response but I can’t. We are no closer currently. Hopefully, the next week or so might be different.”

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It comes amid reports that Newcastle are preparing a £40m offer for Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher. The 21-year-old enjoyed a successful loan at Crystal Palace last season and there are several clubs now interested in a deal for the England star. 

Gallagher’s potential exit from Chelsea is likely to be blocked, though, after N’Golo Kante suffered an injury in the Blues’ 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Sunday. It is unclear for how long the Frenchman will be absent, but Thomas Tuchel may now want to keep Gallagher. 

Newcastle have been linked with a £40m switch for Gallagher, the same price they were willing to pay for Leicester playmaker James Maddison. Leicester have told Newcastle that Maddison is not for sale. 

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