Euro giants plot swoop for Newcastle 24-year-old on back of brilliant season - report
By Matt Farr
European giants AC Milan are eyeing a summer move for Newcastle winger Florian Thauvin, according to a report.
Italian news outlet Calciomercato claim that AC Milan are considering a move for the 24-year-old as one of several high-profile replacements for departing attacker Gerard Deulofeu.
Deulofeu is coming to the end of his loan spell at the club, following his temporary move from Everton during the January transfer window.
But Barcelona have emerged as favourites to complete a permanent deal for the Spaniard after club secretary Robert Fernandez revealed to Spanish publication Sport that the club had an option to re-sign the attacker.
Therefore, AC Milan are turning their attention to other targets.
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Calciomercato first revealed that Milan were lining up a target much closer to home in Lazio’s Keita Balde Diao, who has impressed with 15 goals and five assists in Serie A this season.
However, Lazio are demanding almost £22million for Keita this summer, and with the latest development in the saga revealing champions Juventus are also interested, Milan have instead shortlisted Newcastle’s Thauvin.
The 24-year-old arrived at St. James’ Park in the summer of 2015 for £15million, but struggled to make an impact in the Premier League, and was offloaded to Marseille for two successive loan spells.
Thauvin has impressed on his return to his homeland, netting 15 goals and supplying 11 assists from 43 appearances in all competitions this season.
Marseille have an option to make Thauvin’s move to the club a permanent one, but Milan are hoping to hijack any potential deal by offering him a potential key role at San Siro.
Football Insider verdict
With a number of sides now understood to be coveting the services of Thauvin ahead of the summer, it appears likely that Newcastle could cash-in. However, despite from his own struggles in the Premier League last season, Newcastle should give Thauvin another chance under Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard should be able to get the best out of the winger by bringing in better players to play alongside him, and he has shown for Marseille this term that he is capable of being a key figure for the club. The Magpies could fetch a handsome fee, particularly Milan’s recent mega-money takeover, but he could do a fantastic job for the club in the top flight next term.
In other Newcastle transfer news, a reliable journalist has claimed the Magpies are plotting a move for this £30million-plus rated Premier League ace.