By Harvey Byrne
Real Madrid could offer Newcastle Marcos Llorente or Mariano Diaz in a cash-plus-player exchange for Moussa Sissoko, according to a report.
Spanish football news outlet Fichajes claims the Euro giants are willing to offer one of the youngsters as a sweetener to sign Sissoko for less than his £38million price tag.
It is said Real are willing to offer around £25million in cash for Sissoko, which could be increased by variables or the addition of an emerging player from the Bernabeu.
Llorente is a 21-year-old playmaker, who has appeared for Spain at Under-19s level and he also featured in 40 encounters last season scoring 3 goals and providing four assists between the Galacticos B team and senior team after he made his debut last October.
Meanwhile, Diaz is a 23-year-old forward, who managed to get on the score sheet against Chelsea in the International Champions Cup in this summer’s pre-season. The Dominican Republic international impressed last season after scoring 27 goals in 32 appearances in Madrid’s B team.
It is not clear whether the two players would be on offer as permanent transfers or loans. Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has previously said that he will look to loan Diaz out this season.
However, Newcastle have also previously indicated that they are not interested in part-exchanges, preferring instead to bank the money and reinvest themselves, so it remains to be seen whether Benitez will be tempted by the offer of one of the youngsters who he knows very well from his time at the Spanish giants.
Newcastle set a huge £35million price tag on Sissoko, in the wake of his display in the Euro 2016 final.
Sissoko is contracted with Newcastle until June 2019, but prefers an immediate move back to top-flight football rather than fighting for promotion in the Championship next season.
The France international was the outstanding player for his team at Euro 2016 as they lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final, after emerging as a regular for the runners-up in the tournament’s latter stages.
Sissoko was a mainstay for the Magpies last season, and was named captain by Rafael Benitez for the final matches of the campaign.
However, he scored just one goal from 39 appearances and 3,402 minutes of action, a poor return for a player with 35 caps for France and one who plays so high up the pitch.
Despite some high profile names departing from St James’ Park this summer, manager Rafa Benitez has already been recruiting with stars such as Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle joining.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark is set to undergo a medical at the Toon.