By Danny Wright
Barcelona are tracking Newcastle flop Florian Thauvin, according to a report.
Mundo Deportivo reports that the La Liga giants have been impressed by the 24-year-old’s performances while on loan at Marseille this season.
Thauvin is still a Newcastle player but he has revealed in an interview with RMC Sport that a clause in the deal was triggered for his move to be made permanent after playing three games for the Ligue 1 club.
The French winger has been on loan at the Stade Velodrome for the past 15 months after he failed to make an impact when he arrived at St. James’ Park from Marseille for £12million in 2015.
After making 16 appearances for the Magpies and scoring just once, Thauvin was sent back to Marseille on a loan deal until the end of the 2015/16 season which was again extended for another season, but this time with a view to making the move permanent.
Thauvin has lit up Ligue 1 this season, much to the surprise of the Toon Army, and his performances have now attracted the attention of Barcelona.
In 35 games in all appearances this season, the former Bastia winger has scored 10 goals and bagged eight assists which includes three goals in his last three games for L’OM.
Football Insider Verdict
Newcastle fans must be either laughing or aggrieved about Barca’s reported interested because Thauvin did not show his talents during his time in England. No one would have expected him to go on and play so well on his return the French league, but the tricky winger has put Dimitri Payet in his shadow since he also moved back to the Stade Velodrome in January. Luis Enrique has struggled to find the correct man to play on the right side of his midfield this season with Rafinha, Sergi Roberto and Denis Suarez all finding it hard to cement their place in the starting line-up. Thauvin could potentially slot in there for the Catalan club, but it is highly unlikely he would be able to have the same sort of impact at the Nou Camp.
In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez wants Michael Ashley to provide £15million for this Premier League midfielder.