Newcastle United ‘interested’ in £51m-rated 49-goal forward who ‘wants move’ as Arsenal also ‘keeping tabs’

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Newcastle United are linked with a number of players after making Sandro Tonali their first signing of the summer

Newcastle United retain an interest in Bayer Leverkusen forward Moussa Diaby who is said to want a move to England this summer.

That is per a report from German publication BILD, who claim Levekusen will demand a fee of €60m (£51.2m) to sanction a move for the versatile forward.

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The German club appear to be planning for life without Diaby, as they are said to be closing in on a deal for Borussia Monchengladbach’s Jonas Hofmann, who would be considered a direct replacement for the Newcastle target.

Diaby scored nine goals and provided nine assists in 33 league games last term. He has netted 49 times and provided 48 assists in 172 matches since joining Bayer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.

Diaby is said to want a move to England amid interest from his former club, with the Magpies strongly linked. Reports last month claimed Eddie Howe wanted the player to strengthen his squad for their upcoming Champions League campaign.

The only question mark that remains for the Magpies is the price tag being demanded by Leverkusen. Despite the vast wealth of their owners, Newcastle are still restricted by financial fair play rules, with their first signing of the summer, Sandro Tonali, joining for a reported £55m to become the most expensive Italian in history.

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Diaby joined Leverkusen for £13.2m four years ago and has been deployed on the right and left wing during his time with the club to provide a potent attacking threat from both flanks.

In April, Arsenal were said to be ‘keeping tabs’ on the player but a move from the Gunners feels unlikely at this stage after confirming the arrival of Kai Havertz with deals also agreed for Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice which will take their summer spending to £200m.

“It’s fun when many clubs are interested in you,” Diaby said last season ahead of the first leg of Leverkusen’s Europa League quarter-final against Union Saint-Gilloise.

He added: “I’m concentrating on my season in Leverkusen. It is important to me to make progress.”

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