Newcastle United are seemingly keen to strike a deal for Flamengo sensation Matheus Franca, despite having had an initial offer rebuffed for the teenage Brazilian.
What’s the word?
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Magpies are believed to have had an offer of around €20m (£18m) rejected by the Rio de Janeiro club, albeit with Eddie Howe and co still interested in sealing a move for the 18-year-old this month, provided they are not forced into overpaying.
The transfer guru revealed on Twitter: “Flamengo have turned down new bid from Newcastle for Matheus França — it was worth €20m total package. Newcastle want Matheus but they will not overpay, clear message as last bid was close to ‘internal’ Brazilian market release clause worth €25m.”
Romano had previously revealed earlier this month that the Tynesiders had made an offer of around €16m (£14m), while stating that the likes of Lyon and Real Madrid are also in the frame as potential suitors.
Imagine him and Gordon
This comes following the news that the St James’ Park outfit have already secured another long-term investment with the £45m capture of Anthony Gordon from fellow Premier League side Everton, with the “frightening” talent – as lauded by Boreham Wood manager Luke Gerrard – set to help bolster Howe’s current attacking options.
Although not prolific, the “fearless” starlet – as described by Newcastle legend Alan Shearer – still has a respectable haul of three league goals to his name so far this season, after previously accruing seven goal involvements in all competitions for the Toffees last term.
While there is clearly a way to go for the 21-year-old to truly be considered a consistent and reliable attacking threat, the hope will be that he can make great strides under Howe’s tutelage, with the aim of solidifying his place in the starting XI in the years to come.
The former Bournemouth boss could well have a truly mouthwatering attacking partnership in the making if he is to also bring in Franca to St James’ Park the near future, with the Brazil U20 international able to thrive through the middle while Gordon offers further dynamism from the flanks.
Much like the former Everton gem, the Flamengo prospect is far from the finished article, having made just 30 appearances at first-team level to date, but he could well be another talent who blossoms in the coming years.
Also like Gordon, the “exciting” forward – as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig – has illustrated that he could well make an impact in the short term for the Tynesiders, having already netted seven goals in Flamengo’s senior ranks so far.
Again similar to Newcastle’s most recent arrival, the Brazilian also offers the benefit of being able to feature in a variety of attacking positions, with the aforementioned Kulig having stated that Franca can “play almost everywhere.”
For all of the Flamengo gem’s attacking quality, Howe and co will also be encouraged by his willingness to put in the hard yards defensively. He ranks in the top 1% among those in his position in the ‘Men’s next eight competitions’ for tackles made at an average of 2.05 per game, with Gordon also sharing that hard-working trait as he averages 2.45 for the same metric.
That similarity should well indicate that the Magpies could have a potentially relentless and youthful attacking duo on their hands, should an agreement be reached for Franca before Tuesday night’s transfer deadline.