Newcastle in transfer ‘duel’ with Leverkusen for French starlet Alan Virginius; offer ready to be submitted

·2-min read
Eddie Howe, Newcastle boss Credit: PA Images
Eddie Howe, Newcastle boss Credit: PA Images

Newcastle are rivalling Bayer Leverkusen for the signing of French youngster Alan Virginius and have a bid ready to go, according to a report.

Virginius is a teenage attacker who plays for FC Sochaux in France’s second tier. He is a versatile player, able to operate on either flank or as a centre-forward.

He graduated from the Sochaux academy in July 2020 and has gone on to make 50 appearances for their first team, registering eight goals and four assists.

Last term, Virginius managed five goals and two assists in 34 outings across all competitions. He put in some electric displays but ultimately Sochaux couldn’t gain promotion back to the top flight.

They came fifth before beating Paris FC in the first round of the promotion play-offs. But a defeat to Auxerre in the next round ended the club’s dreams for the 2021-22 campaign.

They will push again next season, but might have to do it without Virginius. He shone at the U19s Euros with France, notching three goals and three assists on their route to the semi-final.

These impressive performances have alerted some significant clubs to his talent. And according to French outlet Le10Sport, the 19-year-old is now ‘close to leaving’ Sochaux.

Newcastle, Bayer Leverkusen and Club Brugge have all been keeping tabs on his development in recent months.

Newcastle battling Leverkusen for Alan Virginius

The transfer tussle is now between Newcastle and Leverkusen. The report calls this a ‘duel’ as both teams are willing to make bids.

Newcastle’s will be worth between £4.2million and £8.5m, and they are ready to send it in the next few days.

Leverkusen are waiting for the Magpies to move first before submitting a counter-offer.

Club Brugge, meanwhile, will likely take a back seat in proceedings. They probably won’t have the finances to compete with such teams.

Sochaux will be delighted by the fact Newcastle and Leverkusen are preparing to enter a bidding war for Virginius. This should see them end up with more than his actual transfer value.

It will be tough for the young attacker to choose between going to St James’ Park or the BayArena.

Newcastle will not play in Europe next season but have plans to achieve this in the next few years. Plus, they can offer Virginius a large weekly wage.

Leverkusen usually compete in the Champions League or Europa League. Next term, it will be the UCL for Gerardo Seoane’s side.

Virginius having the chance to play against Europe’s elite teams with Leverkusen will be the only worry for Newcastle and Eddie Howe when it comes to trying to sign him.

Meanwhile, journalist Alan Nixon has told Newcastle how much they need to pay to capture Anthony Gordon from Everton.

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