Newcastle eye two 18-year-old sensations as they hope to fend off interest from Europe’s elite

Jason Soutar
Reported Newcastle target Garang Kuol during a match against Barcelona

Newcastle United are hoping to complete the signing of Central Coast Mariners teenage forward Garang Kuol, according to reports.

Kuol turned 18 years old on Thursday after being called up by Australia for their upcoming matches against New Zealand.

England squad: Harry Maguire is the least shocking of all shock inclusions

He is hoping to be included in their squad for this winter’s World Cup. The Socceroos take on France, Tunisia and Denmark in Qatar.

In 145 minutes of A-League action across eight fixtures, the Central Coast striker has scored four goals.

According to The Athletic, Kuol is attracting interest from a host of top European sides.

Despite the amount of interest in the teenager, Newcastle are in ‘advanced negotiations’ to sign him.

A deal would not be finalised until the January transfer window.

Koul playing for Australia before then would be hugely beneficial for his bid to receive a UK work permit.

The Magpies are ‘exploring’ the idea of loaning him out to a European club in order to boost that aspect of the deal to sign the Mariners forward.

Koul’s brother, Alou, plays for Bundesliga club Stuttgart having left the Mariners in 2021.

Following his international call-up, Australia boss Graham Arnold heaped praise on the 18-year-old.

“He’s showed great quality and great talent,” Arnold said. “I truly believe our kids have got it here in Australia and it’s just getting the opportunity.”

Koul is not the only teenager that Newcastle are reportedly interested in signing.

According to French outlet Jeunes Footeux, the Geordies are competing alongside Aston Villa, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain to sign Vasco de Gama midfielder Andrey Santos.

The 18-year-old is under contract until 2027, so will likely cost a pretty penny.

Santos can operate as an attacking, central or defensive midfielder and has five goals in 28 matches for the Serie B side.

Barcelona have apparently made contact with Vasco, as well as the youngster’s representatives.

The Brazilian club are demanding at least €30million to part ways with Santos.

Barca would struggle to put this on the table in one instalment, so may try to span their payments over a number of years.

They are also hoping to sweeten the deal by offering Santos back to Vasco on loan for a year or two.

The financial power of Newcastle and PSG will not do Barca any favours, however.

Santos apparently has the same agent as Magpies midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.