Sources: PCP in pole position to land first Newcastle signing after shock decision

Newcastle United are in pole position to sign Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare for a knockdown fee after the shock decision to end the French season early, Football Insider understands.

The Saudi Arabia-backed consortium close to taking over the club are planning an ambitious overhaul of the playing squad this summer and their first move could be to land their January target at a bargain price.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that the club have done the groundwork for a Soumare deal after recruitment chief Steve Nickson identified him as a midfield enforcer who can make a big Premier League impact.

The north east-giants had a £35million bid for the Ligue 1 star accepted in January and offered a lucrative contract to the 21-year-old.

But France Under-21 international Soumare turned them down and opted to remain in France.

That is likely to change this summer, with France-based stars set to be hot property as Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs attempt to recover their losses amid the government’s decision last week to ban all sporting events until September.

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Estimates suggest a joint £175m financial black hole in the top flight.

Soumare, who joined Lille from PSG in his teens, could be available for far less than £35m amid the fire sale of top French talent.

That paves the way for Premier League clubs to take advantage of tumbling transfer fees as sellers look to raise cash quickly from their prize assets.

Newcastle are well placed, given the ambition and finances of the Amanda Staveley-led PCP Partners, which includes Saudi’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The Premier League is in the process of ratifying their proposed £300million takeover.

They are planning major investment in players and infrastructure and have already been in contact with leading agents as they look to recruit stars who can make an instant impact next season.

In other Newcastle United news, the club’s takeover spells bad news for Leeds United after near-£20m big name reveal.