COMMENT By Will Butcher
Newcastle scouts were in attendance at Luxembourg’s Stade Josy Barthel on Saturday night to watch France’s 3-1 2018 World Cup qualifying victory.
Get Football French News claimed on their Twitter account that Toon scouts had been deployed along with scouts from Manchester United, Chelsea, Lille and Middlesbrough.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Lille & Middlesbrough were among the clubs to have scouts at Luxembourg vs France tonight.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) March 25, 2017
Football Insider analyses three players that the Toon could have been keeping an eye on ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Mirror claims the 22-year-old left-back has been interesting Premier League leaders Chelsea in recent times, as he continues to shine on the flank for Monaco. However, it is believed that the highly-rated youngster would only cost around £12million, which could see the Toon rival Chelsea in the summer if they gain promotion. Able to offer first-team football, something which Antonio Conte’s side may struggle to do, Rafa Benitez’s side may hold the advantage.
Currently on loan from the north east club at Marseille, Thauvin’s sparkling recent form has seen Didier Deschamps hand him a call-up for the first time to France’s senior squad. The 24-year-old winger has scored 10 goals and provided another eight assists for Marseille in 35 league and cup encounters this term, as he continues to prove to manager Benitez why he deserves a second chance on Tyneside. With a contract until 2020 at St. James’ Park, Newcastle could look to keep the Frenchman but may face a fight on their hands as Thauvin continues to impress. The winger failed to make an appearance from the bench, but could make his international bow against Spain in a friendly on Tuesday.
The Rennes goalkeeper is out of contract in the summer and could be brought to Newcastle to replace Karl Darlow. Costil, 29, is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in France and is unlucky not to be a regular in Deschamps’ side, with Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris ahead of him in the pecking order. French newspaper L’Equipe claimed that Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic were eyeing a move for the one-time international, who would be available on a pre-contract agreement and the Toon could look to rival the Bhoys. Darlow has been at fault for a number of high-profile howlers this season, and although Costil remained on the bench, he would be a top-class addition in Benitez’s fight against Premier League relegation.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez is also keeping tabs on this in-form loanee.