According to The Telegraph, Newcastle United has joined the race for 1. FSV Mainz 05 centre-back Moussa Niakhate. West Ham United and Everton have an interest in signing the defender.
A Champions League club in Germany are interested in Niakhate, but isn’t named, per the same report. The Frenchman is the captain of Mainz and would be available for £8 million. His contract runs out next season so the German side will want to make cash off him should he leave.
Newcastle will be eyeing up centre-back options as they approach the summer transfer window. Considering Niakhate’s price it would certainly be a bargain.
Niakhate has similar traits to Toon January transfer target Sven Botman
In January, the Magpies were keen to sign Sven Botman from Lille. The Athletic reported that the player was interested in joining. But the deal never materialised and instead signed Dan Burn from Brighton.
However, it appears that the Dutch defender could go elsewhere. Fabrizio Romano has stated that AC Milan are ‘close’ to signing Botman.
But Niakhate poses some of those similar traits. They’re are tall left-footed centre-backs and are able to play left-back when called upon.
Furthermore, Niakhate has played for France at youth level with their under-21s. The Frenchman is a couple of years older than Botman but at 26-years-old has plenty of years left.
Also, the defender has been able to provide an impressive amount of goals for Mainz this season. He has 6 goals to his name this season and is a penalty taker. Additionally, the fact he captains the side suggests he is an authoritative figure.
With Newcastle potentially looking to sell some of their defenders this season, Niakhate is an option worth looking into. He would be an improvement on a number of the centre-backs there and has a cheap price tag.