By Danny Wright
Newcastle are looking to sign French wonderkid Mickael Nade on a free transfer in the summer, according to a report.
France Football reports that the Magpies will look to secure the signing of the 18-year-old sensation when his contract at St. Etienne expires at the end of the season.
They also say that Newcastle have already approached the player about a possible move.
Nade has been likened to Chelsea star, and fellow French centre-back, Kurt Zouma, who also rose through the ranks with Les Verts.
As well as Zouma; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Dimitri Payet and Blaise Matuidi have all reached stardom with the French club.
However Newcastle face stiff competition to sign Nade with Champions League regulars Red Bull Salzburg also throwing their hat into the ring.
The Austrian powerhouses, who feature regularly in the Champions League, are well known for bringing young talent to European acclaim with the likes of Sadio Mane and Kevin Kampl among some of the recent players to develop at the club.
Nade is yet to make a first team appearance for St Etienne but he has played 10 matches for the Under-19 side this season as well as five appearances in CFA2, which is the equivalent of the English National League, with the development side.
Newcastle have a recent history of bringing young French players to the club.
Yohan Cabaye, Florian Thauvin, Remy Cabella, Moussa Sissoko and Hatem Ben Arfa have all made the journey over the English Channel to play for the north-east club in recent years.
Football Insider Verdict
A young, French centre-back who has been compared to Zouma on a free contract – it’s hard to see how Newcastle can go wrong with this transfer. Little is known about Nade but the Magpies’ scouts have a great knowledge of French clubs and there’s no doubt that they will only bring him in if there’s something special about the teenager. St Etienne is a breeding ground for talent and Nade looks as though he is one of the biggest prospects at the club. However the fact that his contract will not be renewed in the summer could be a signal to warn the Toon off him. Either way it’s a free signing that could work out great in the future.
In other Newcastle news, Don Hutchison has said he has his doubts about this 22-year-old player.