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Opinion: Newcastle must bite the bullet on someone like Diaby or set the bar lower

Newcastle United have reportedly been put off a move for Moussa Diaby because of his asking price.

That’s according to the Telegraph, who claim Bayer Leverkusen want a fee of around £60million.

That would make him the most expensive signing in Newcastle’s history by a long way. It would be a huge signing and a real statement of intent.

Diaby is on the back of an excellent season in Germany, providing 25 goal contributions to help Leverkusen qualify for the Champions League.

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He’s also a France international, playing for the world champions alongside superstars such as Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.

That’s why Leverkusen want such a big fee for the 22-year-old. Now it looks like Newcastle will be turning their attentions elsewhere.

Paying Bayer Leverkusen’s asking price for Moussa Diaby would be a real statement

Talk of Diaby coming to St James’ Park was incredibly exciting. As previously mentioned, this guy is a France international who has been setting the Bundesliga alight.

The prospect of having him on one wing and Allan Saint-Maximin was incredibly tantalising. It then became a bit more real when the Northern Echo claimed that Newcastle were confident of a deal.

However, that confidence appears to have been misplaced.

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An asking price of £60million has turned Newcastle away, but realistically what were the owners expecting?

Yes, it is a lot of money, but you’re getting a top level player. He’s an international footballer on the back of an excellent domestic season, and he’s only 22. He could be a star for the next decade.

The CIES Football Observatory valued him at a similar level, naming him the 58th most valuable player in the world at £56.2million.

If Newcastle want to bring in players like Diaby then they simply have to bite the bullet and pay what is required.

The alternative is to set the bar lower

Newcastle’s other option is to set the bar lower and be a bit savvier in the transfer market.

Diaby is already the real deal, so will command a huge fee. If that’s a figure that Newcastle are unwilling to pay then they can’t expect to bring in that calibre of player.

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Eddie Howe has proven in his short time at Newcastle that he can mould talent. Multiple Toon players have improved massively under his management.

The same thing can happen with new recruits, so perhaps the Magpies should be looking at smaller reputation players who Howe can enhance rather than the finished article.

That might be the only way Newcastle can get players within their price range.

It’s one or the other for the Toon owners – either break the bank for top bracket players or lower expectations.

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