Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan, writing an article for Sky Sports, claimed Newcastle were one of a number of clubs to have scouted Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek a number of times last season.
The 22-year-old Dutch international is one of the Dutch champions’ top players, and if Newcastle’s interest is genuine, the prospect of him possibly pulling on a black and white jersey should excite fans.
He scored a very impressive 17 goals and 13 assists in all competitions for Ajax, and would be a fantastic addition to any Premier League side.
It is more likely to be the sort of transfer we would make if the prospective takeover goes through, but the fact he has been scouted already – before any buyout was mooted – could be a sign that he is on our radar regardless.
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Would Mike Ashley sanction a move for van de Beek?
But with him not likely to be sold cheaply, it would remain to be seen if either Mike Ashley would sanction such a move, or whether Lee Charnley could complete a deal if it was given the green light.
With big-hitters Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as Everton, all said to have been in attendance at many of his games, it would be difficult for Newcastle to pull off a deal.
But van de Beek is exactly the type of young player that Rafa Benitez could bring in to make Ashley’s transfer blueprint work in the long-term, and anything that could tempt the Spaniard to sign a contract extension should be looked into.