Newcastle United are considering a move for Paris Saint Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola as their search for a new number one continues.
France Football, as referenced by Sky Sports and the Daily Star, report that Rafa Benitez has been following the player since his loan spell with Villarreal and he could now be ready to submit an initial €15 million (£13.3 million) bid for the Frenchman.
The 24-year-old is the Magpies’ priority goalkeeping target, but his current team would have to source a replacement before agreeing to a sale.
What would he bring to St James’ Park?
It is evident that Benitez wants to sign a goalkeeper to be his number one in the Premier League and Areola possesses the pedigree to thrive in the role.
Although he has not been able to gain the starting position at PSG, he has impressed on three separate loan spells and has the potential to be a future French international.
He has been on Chelsea’s radar this summer, according to Italian outlet Transfer Market Web, emphasising how highly he is regarded in the game. It would be a huge coup if Newcastle were to bring him to Tyneside, and with Benitez, anything is possible for the club.
Last season, he was given the chance to establish himself at PSG and he did manage to usurp Kevin Trapp as number one for a period. He showed good form around October and there was a belief that he could become the club’s number one for a sustained period of time.
However, his form slipped after the turn of the year and he fell out of the team. He is at an age where he needs regular football and a move away from PSG could be the best option for him. To highlight how good he could become, goalkeeping icon Gianluigi Buffon named him and David de Gea when discussing the best goalkeepers coming through now. If Newcastle pull this off, it would be an incredible deal for the club.
How likely is a deal?
It is difficult to get too excited about names being linked to Newcastle at the moment as they seem unable to complete deals. They have walked away from several targets already this season and Rafa Benitez is growing frustrated at the lack of progress.
Relegation was always going to have an effect on the club and their finances will be pushed to the limit this summer if they are going to appease the manager.
He wants a goalkeeper so in that respect, a deal for Areola would be one that appeals to Benitez. The Magpies’ boss is a huge fan of the Frenchman and he will consider him as a player that could be a big part of the future at St James’ Park.