Newcastle burst into pole position for Man Utd, Liverpool striker target that fits perfectly into Dan Ashworth plans

Dan Ashworth Brighton Credit: Alamy
Dan Ashworth Brighton Credit: Alamy

Newcastle appear to be at the front of the queue to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Youssoufa Moukoko after submitting a major proposal – and he seems to fit brilliantly into Dan Ashworth’s transfer plans.

Moukoko is almost certain to leave Dortmund in one of the 2023 transfer windows. His contract with the German club expires in the summer, setting up the possibility of a cut-price January exit. If Moukoko spends the rest of the campaign at Dortmund, then he will be able to leave as a free agent this summer.

Both Manchester United and Liverpool are monitoring the 18-year-old’s situation ahead of potential moves for him. And on January 3, it was revealed Chelsea had ‘made an offer’ to try and snare him.

Despite interest from such successful Premier League teams, Moukoko may end up going to Newcastle. According to a report from the Evening Standard, the Magpies are ‘well placed to beat Chelsea’ to the capture.

This is because they have made a ‘substantial verbal approach’ to try and tempt him to St James’ Park. This includes a contract offer worth more than £150,000 a week.

Some Newcastle fans may have reservations about the club spending so much on a teenager’s wages. Plus, Moukoko has only scored 11 senior goals for Dortmund.

However, Eddie Howe’s side would be buying world-class potential if they managed to bring the Cameroon-born Germany international in. He ripped up academy football for Dortmund, netting 90 goals in just 56 games for their U17 side.

After moving up to Dortmund U19s, Moukoko continued his exceptional scoring record by netting 47 times during 25 appearances.

While he is yet to match this sort of form at senior level, the talent, attributes and mentality are certainly there.

Dan Ashworth makes Newcastle transfer admission

Amid Newcastle’s pursuit of Moukoko, their sporting director Ashworth has appeared on Sky Sports to discuss the wider transfer plans.

And he spoke about Newcastle avoiding expensive signings to ensure they do not break Financial Fair Play regulations. Moukoko fits into this bracket due to his expiring contract.

“Eddie [Howe], first and foremost, is brilliant to work with and an experienced manager who understands Financial Fair Play and how to build a squad in a sensible way,” Ashworth said (via Chronicle Live). “We’ll try and work a couple of windows in advance.

“We know what we’d like to do in the summer of 23 for example, then if the right player and the right opportunity comes along and we can do it, then we’ll look at it. But, January is always a difficult window, Eddie knows that and I know that.

“It’s not always easy to be able to get the right player in a short period of time. You get two opportunities a season to change your squad, in and out, this is one of them. It’s a shorter one than the summer window, it would be remiss of us not to look at something and try to do something.”

Ashworth went on to speak about Newcastle landing young players with huge potential. Once again, Moukoko fits perfectly into this category due to his age and massive talent.

“As I’ve said previously, we’re clear with what we want to do in the summer,” Ashworth added. “If the right player comes along and the right opportunity, of course we’ll look at it. The second part of the club strategy is looking at more emerging talent and younger players that sit outside of the 25-man squad.

“Again, if the right player comes along, we’ve just signed Garang Kuol for example, an 18-year-old. We’re always looking for those sort of players as well to add to our depth of talent that we have at the club.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have reached a ‘full agreement’ for a player to leave Tyneside, according to reports.

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