French outlet Get French Football News have claimed that Newcastle United are in talks to sign AS Monaco teenager Mehdi Zerkane, with the French youngster’s contract set to expire.
The 19-year-old is set to see his current Monaco deal end on June 30, meaning he can talk to foreign sides over a pre-contract agreement. It is believed another French club are also in talks with Zerkane.
But Newcastle are looking to raid the top tier of French football, and already have a strong connection with Monaco after signing Antonio Barreca on a loan-to-buy deal in the January transfer window.
It is believed The Toon are already in talks with Zerkane and his representatives. The right-winger has played 10 times for Monaco’s Under-19 side this season in the UEFA Youth League, scoring two goals.
The Toon do need options out wide. Jacob Murphy has struggled out on loan at West Brom, and although Christian Atsu scored against Liverpool, he has been largely ineffective all season.
Zerkane is not a quick fix, and Rafa Benitez is not known for his faith in bringing through youth. It remains to be seen if Newcastle are indeed in talks with Zerkane, but there is no doubt he is a talented youngster.
Bringing in a player who has the potential to be a first-teamer in years to come, as well as a player who is in his peak now is the best option. Zerkane can be one of those two.