Newcastle ‘push ahead’ with £48m cut-price transfers for Senegal striker and top Arsenal target

Will Ford
Lyon star Lucas Paqueta

Newcastle will reportedly ‘push ahead’ in their attempts to land two further signings from Ligue 1.

The French league has been a happy hunting ground for the Magpies since they were taken over by the Saudi-backed consortium last year.

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Bruno Guimaraes joined from Lyon in January for 38m and Sven Botman arrived earlier in the summer for £33m.

They also made an attempt to lure Hugo Ekitike to the club, but the Reims striker instead opted to join Paris Saint-Germain.

But that failed bid hasn’t stopped Eddie Howe and new director of football Dan Ashworth from continuing to scour the French market for further additions.

90min claim that search has led to increased efforts to land Bamba Dieng from Marseille.

The highly-rated striker, who scored seven goals in 11 Ligue 1 starts last term, has ‘been given the cold shoulder by new manager Igor Tudor and is free to leave for a fee of around £15m’.

Newcastle have been tracking the 22-year-old Senegal international since January and with ‘the player’s agents locked in talks with Marseille to secure a move away’, the Magpies will look to beat Everton and Leeds to his signature.

As well as Dieng, Newcastle have reignited their interest in Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

Paqueta – who got nine league goals and six assists in 2021-22 – has also heavily been linked with Arsenal this summer, who, like Newcastle, were put off by the French club’s initial £50m valuation.

But 90min claim ‘Lyon are now ready to business at around £33m with add-ons’, which is said to ‘appeal to Newcastle’.

That price cut will also likely tickle Arsenal’s fancy, but Newcastle may have an ace in the hole when it comes to persuading Paqueta to move to the North East.

The 24-year-old Brazilian is a good pal of Guimaraes and went to visit his former teammate this summer.

Paqueta ‘has not hidden his desire’ to play alongside his compatriot once again.

Another positive for Newcastle in their pursuit of both Dieng and Paqueta is their respective clubs’ desire to find replacements.

Marseille are set to announce the signing of Alexis Sanches after the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker had his contract terminated by Inter Milan.

And Lyon are believed to be planning for Paqueta’s departure this month as they line up teenage sensation Victor Hugo from Flamengo.