Newcastle United are among several Premier League clubs casting an eye over Lille’s 19-year-old wonderkid, Carlos Baleba who has been impressing in Ligue 1 this season.
A report in 90mins credits Newcastle amongst the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal as potential destinations for LOSC Lille‘s ‘in-demand’ midfielder after he burst onto the scene this season.
He’s so far made 12 appearances from the bench for Lille in Ligue 1 this season and has caught the eye of many clubs around Europe, with his own teammate, Jonathan David singling him out for praise saying: “Carlos is young, but he brings something different, which is very good for us. He is powerful, strong, he drives the ball very well”
Baleba is already in demand around Europe
The report mentions Newcastle along with Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, West Ham and Leicester as the Premier League clubs who have despatched scouts to take a closer look at Baleba with a view to making their move in the summer.
AC Milan are said to have failed in an attempt to land the Cameroonian in January with Lille apparently seeing him as the ‘future’ of the club, but as Newcastle proved with Sven Botman, it doesn’t matter how highly Lille value a player, they have a price and can be bought.
With that being said, it’s believed that it would take a bid of around £30million to pique Lille’s interest, which given Baleba’s age and little experience could prove to be a step too far for many clubs. Of course if the delegation of scouts like what they see, then that price tag might seem justifiable.
Baleba could be another one for Ashworth’s revolution
With his reputation rising, Baleba will be pushing for more game time to prove what he can do, which can only benefit those interested clubs as the more they see of him the more of a feel they can get of his potential and where he needs to focus in training.
That kind of information will be vital to Dan Ashworth as he looks to build his youthful army to secure Newcastle’s future away from the constraints of FFP. By signing young players with bags of potential who can break into Newcastle’s first team, the feeling is they can take the roles that we’d otherwise have to spend big to fill.