Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - AS Saint-Etienne vs Olympique de Marseille - Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne, France - February 9, 2018 St Etienne’s Robert Beric shakes hands with Jonathan Bamba after the match REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot


Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez may have a small budget to work on yet again in the summer and that means that the Spaniard should be keeping his on the free agent market in order to strike a bargain.

Saint-Etienne forward Jonathan Bamba may quit the Ligue 1 club in a matter of weeks with his contract due to expire at the end of June, and Newcastle absolute must go out and sign the rapid wide-man.

Bamba, 22, has been in stunning form for Saint-Etienne this season, who sit in the top half of Ligue 1, and it’s mad to think that he would be available for free soon.

He has an eye-catching record this term having scored seven goals and supplied nine assists in 31 appearances across all competitions.

The former France Under-21 international also helped his side gain a draw against Paris Saint-Germain last week.

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Bamba can play on both wings as well as filling the striker role and that is the sort of versatility that Benitez needs in his side.

French news outlet Foot Mercato reported last summer that Newcastle were trying to sign Bamba, so he is definitely someone that is on the radar at St James’ Park.

There may be a bit of a race to sign the jet-heeled forward this summer though with him due to be available for free.

The Sun has claimed that West Ham are closing in on signing Bamba, so if Benitez wants to get a deal done and dusted he has to move quick.

Mike Ashley may be keeping a tight grip on his wallet yet again this summer so look into free agents is definitely a strategy Benitez may have to take. It’s just unbelievable that a player of Bamba’s quality will be available for nothing.

In other Newcastle United news, West Ham are eyeing a summer swoop for this £60,000-a-week Magpies player.

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