Newcastle United issued transfer warning over £60m-rated Champions League target

The Magpies are known admirers of the talented winger.

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Bayer Leverkusen have issued a stern warning to any suitors of Newcastle United transfer target Moussa Diaby.

The former PSG winger has come to the attention of several clubs around Europe after rising to prominence with the Bundesliga club.  After joining in a £13.5m deal in the summer of 2019, Diaby has gone on to score 37 goals and provide 41 assists in 137 appearances in all competitions.

His form with Leverkusen led to a maiden call-up to the France senior squad and Diaby made his debut as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw against Bosnia in September last year.  He has gone on to earn eight caps for Les Bleus, but was not called up for their recent Nations League double-header with Austria and Denmark, which could bring an end to his hopes of securing a place in their World Cup Finals squad.

The summer brought intense speculation Newcastle were preparing a significant offer to persuade Leverkusen to part company with the talented winger - but the reported £60m asking price led the Magpies to turn their attention elsewhere.

Their interest in Diaby remains alive and United recruitment staff are believed to have watched him in action during the opening months of the season, with talk increasing of a second attempt to conduct a deal with his club during the January transfer window.

Diaby’s form during the current campaign could be viewed as underwhelming, with the winger providing just two goals and four assists in 13 appearances in the Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup.

But Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes has revealed just how determined his club are to retaining the services of one of their prize assets.

“For sure, we want to keep Moussa for as long as possible,” he told The Express.

“I know a lot of scouts have been sitting on our tribune during our matches because we have a lot of interesting, exciting young players with high potential. So, it’s the same as (Patrik) Schick. We did not receive any offers for him but we are not even looking for that at the moment. We wanted to keep him and play Champions League football with him this season.”

Diaby will be back in action on Wednesday night when his side host Porto in their latest Champions League Group B fixture.

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