Newcastle United have identified Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby as a top target as Eddie Howe looks to bring Champions League football to St James’ Park, Bild journalist Christian Falk has told GiveMeSport.
The Magpies currently find themselves in the Premier League’s top three and head coach Howe could improve his side’s chances of qualifying for Europe’s elite club competition by bolstering his squad during the remainder of the transfer window.
Newcastle transfer news – Moussa Diaby
According to German media outlet Bild, Diaby has been identified as a dream signing by Newcastle and they could look to pounce ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.
The report suggests the Tyneside giants’ interest has refused to go away since they failed to lure the winger away from Leverkusen last summer.
Newcastle were left frustrated after a £60million price tag was slapped on Diaby by his current employers, which resulted in the Premier League club stopping in their tracks.
But the Magpies are not the only English side to have kept tabs on the Frenchman as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu have held a long-standing interest.
Transfer insider Dean Jones previously told GiveMeSport that Newcastle could revisit a move for Diaby this month.
What has Christian Falk said about Diaby?
Falk understands that Diaby is among the names at the top of Howe’s shortlist as he looks to strengthen his Newcastle squad.
But the Bundesliga insider, who has a transfer column for CaughtOffside, believes the Magpies’ qualification for the Champions League could be crucial in their pursuit.
When asked whether Diaby is a top target for Newcastle, Falk told GiveMeSport: “Yes, of course. They’re searching for players like him.
“But will they qualify for the Champions League? Nobody knows at the moment and this could be a big point because Leverkusen have always been a club who can play there and if there’s another Champions League club, that’s always interesting.”
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
Would Diaby be a good signing for Newcastle?
Diaby has been a constant attacking threat for Leverkusen, with Transfermarkt statistics showing he has scored 43 goals and registered a further 41 assists in 146 appearances.
The 23-year-old is currently in a rich vein of form, having found the back of the net four times in his last three Bundesliga outings.
Diaby is a crucial part of Leverkusen’s squad and he boasts a better WhoScored average match rating, of 7.13, than all of his teammates.
That will make it difficult for Newcastle to persuade the German side into selling their talisman, while the fact he still has two-and-a-half years remaining on a £49,000-per-week contract will also complicate matters.
But there is no doubt that signing Diaby, who has created 10 big chances and got his name on the scoresheet every 210 minutes in the Bundesliga this season, would be a major coup for the Magpies.
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