Newcastle United have been linked with a move for one of Southampton’s brightest prospects just over three months after he struck a hat-trick at St James Park.
At the age of just 16, attacking midfielder Tyler Dibling plundered his way to a stunning treble past Magpies goalkeeper Mark Gillespie as the Saints under-23s claimed a 4-2 win over their United counterparts in late April.
Dibling put in a remarkable display full of pace, power and control as he further enhanced a reputation as one of the most promising players in both Southampton and England’s youth setup.
Speaking after his Tyneside treble, the youngster spoke of ‘the real buzz’ playing at St James Park.
He told the Saints website: “A hat-trick in the first half, I've never done that before. The fans were good, considering there weren't that many.
“It was a real buzz, and it was nice to play in a stadium like this. All the (goals were the) same. That's what I do most, pick it up and drive, have a bang – and hopefully it goes in.
“I like to have the ball, dribble, beat a couple of people – and get my shot off. Sometimes I pass it, but I just shot there.”
Dibling’s form let to a first-team call-up and was an unused substitute as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side fell to a 3-0 defeat at Brentford in the final weeks of the season.
Newcastle are believed to be one of a number of Premier League clubs monitoring his progress and speculation over a possible move was heightened by a Football Insider report on Wednesday morning.
The article suggested the Magpies are ready to offer wages of up to £6,500 a week for a 16-year-old Southampton prospect - but stopped short of naming the player in question.
Further reports in the Southern Daily Echo have suggested Dibling is the focus of Newcastle’s offer.
Dibling can agreed a professional deal with Southampton but it can not be officially ratified by the Football Association until he turns 17 in March 2023.
That could open up the possibility of an offer from Newcastle that would allow the youngster to move to Tyneside on a scholarship before turning professional next year if the reports on the South Coast are correct.
Another suggestion for a possible move to the North East is England Under-17 international Cami Doyle.
The attacking midfielder scored 11 goals in 17 appearances for the Saints Under-18s last season and also made 18 appearances for their Under-23s during the campaign.
The 16-year-old has already shone in front of Magpies academy staff after providing two assists for Southampton Under-23s as they claimed a 5-0 win over a United side containing Elliot Anderson and Dylan Stephenson in November last year.