EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Newcastle United are aiming to blow Southampton out of the water in the race to sign Basel and Norway winger Mohamed Elyounoussi, Football Insider sources understand.
Southampton have held a long-term interest in the attacker, but a well placed source has told Football Insider that Newcastle have now joined the race for Elyounoussi as Rafa Benitez looks to add some attacking guile to their side as they aim to secure safety in their first season back in the Premier League.
The source explained that the north east giants are ready to submit a bid for the international in the January window.
Elyounoussi’s performances for club and country over the past 18 months have not gone unnoticed among clubs in bigger European leagues.
The Norwegian international has established himself as Basel’s star man since joining the club from Molde in the summer of 2016.
Elyounoussi, who can play out wide or up front, enjoyed a fantastic season with Basel last term, scoring 10 goals and laying on 13 assists in 32 games in the Swiss Super League as Basel won their eighth consecutive title.
He has maintained that fine form so far this season with five goals and 11 assists in just 23 games, helping Basel qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League by finishing runners-up to Manchester United in Group A.
Basel will be reluctant to lose Elyounoussi as they look forward to the knockout stages of the Champions League, but are bracing themselves for interest in the attacking midfielder when the transfer window reopens next month.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, Magpies fans have fumed over the possibility of a January swoop for this legendary talent.