Newcastle United are set to battle Paris Saint-Germain for the signature of a promising young France international from a Ligue 1 side in the summer – Rayan Cherki from Lyon is the target this time.

Anyone else getting deja vu?

Reports from L’Equipe in France have said that both Newcastle and PSG tried to sign the exciting winger in January but ultimately couldn’t tempt Cherki away from Lyon. Now it seems both clubs are going to return with fresh bids when the transfer window opens at the end of this season.

This has the stench of the Hugo Ekitike battle of it all over it doesn’t it?

Newcastle are looking to add creativity to their midfield

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has that versatility that Eddie Howe is looking for, being comfortable operating on the wing as well as through the middle. He’s got three goals and four assists in his 25 Ligue 1 appearances this season despite being used mostly as a substitute.

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Cherki could be another one for the future as Howe and Dan Ashworth look to recruit players they can develop as well as those who can fit right into the first team. I believe Cherki would fall more into the former category as it would likely take him time to get used to the rigours of the Premier League.

Newcastle are looking for more creative options in the middle of the park along with a defensive minded enforcer, and while those things are needed for the immediate future, there’s also a huge mission going on to find the next generation of Newcastle stars.

The Magpies are in a better position to beat PSG this time around

Rayan Cherki’s Ligue 1 stats are good, but his France Under-21 numbers paint a much more exciting picture with the youngster notching four goals and two assists in just nine outings for his country.

Those are the kind of figures we’re looking for from our next crop of players.

Of course the big problem is that the French champions are also circling Cherki and we all remember how that played out with Ekitike last summer. That being said, Newcastle have already shown that we’re not messing around as we battle for Champions League qualification in the first full season under Howe and the PIF.

Qualifying for a major European tournament this season is going to have a dramatic effect on our transfer plans this summer as being able to offer Champions League football will be a huge boost to any negotiations, and that’s what could ultimately lead us to beating out PSG. Granted they’ll be in the competition too, but we have the added glitz and glamour of the Premier League.

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