Newcastle are monitoring Monaco’s very highly-rated defender Benoit Badiashile, according to the Chronicle, with the club represented at the recent game against Bordeaux, specifically to scout the player.
The 18-year-old centre-back would be a huge signing for Newcastle, although they would face stiff competition, were they to press ahead with a potential deal, with Chelsea previously linked with a move for the top prospect.
Badiashile broke into Monaco’s senior squad in November last season, while still only 17, and went on to appear 20 times in Ligue 1, even scoring a goal before turning 18.
This season has seen him cement a place in the side, and he has appeared in all but two of their league games to date.
He has also represented the France Under-19 side 15 times, and is said to potentially cost a fee in excess of £30 million in the future.
Such is his talent, international giants Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona are watching the Badiashile, along with Wolves and West Brom – as well as Newcastle – from England.
With Newcastle seemingly wanting to continue focusing on young players – whether for the under-23 squad or the senior side – luring a player with the obvious potential of Badiashile would be a big statement of intent by the club.
Newcastle seem to be targeting teenage prospects
They have added a number of players to the youth set-up, and have been rumoured to be looking for a few more – Luke Matheson of Rochdale has been linked, while a deal was reportedly in the offing for Queen’s Park’s Reagan Thomson.
Both those players are still teenagers, and it seems to be a deliberate plan by the club, to prioritise signing future talent.
Whether an ambitious move for Badiashile would be seen as one for the first team, or for the youth squads, would not be known until after he arrived.
But with the clamour of big clubs interested in the defender, it would be quite a coup for Newcastle to sign him, and it seems a long way from being a deal fans can assume will be certain to happen.
What it does show, however, is Newcastle are looking at the right types of player, and clearly the scouting network is doing its job across Europe.