Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Allan Saint-Maximin link key as Newcastle hold private chat over perfect Chris Wood strike partner

James Marshment
Alassane Plea, Borussia Monchengladbach striker in Bundesliga action v Augsburg

Newcastle are reportedly looking into the possibility of an exciting deal to sign Alassane Plea, with Borussia Monchengladbach striker seemingly keen on linking up with good friend Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Magpies have been one of the more proactive Premier League sides in the January transfer window. Indeed, both Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood have signed; two players who know the division inside-out and give Newcastle a more solid look. However, adding further to their squad is proving relatively problematic.

Indeed, Eddie Howe is frantically looking to add a new centre-half to his mix. To that end, reports are emerging of a potential breakthrough to sign a highly-rated Brazilian.

Howe though would do like to bring in more quality. And adding a player who possesses real X-factor – alongside Saint-Maximim – is something in the forefront of Howe’s mind.

As such, L’Equipe claims Newcastle are firmly on the trail of Monchengladbach attacker Plea.

The 28-year-old French striker is regarded highly in the Bundesliga, having impressed during his four seasons with Gladbach. Indeed, in his 119 appearances so far, he has registered 39 goals.

However, with his contract having just a year to run from this summer, a move away looks a genuine possibility.

The 28-year-old is reportedly open to the idea of a move to the Premier League and would not be opposed to moving now. Gladbach, however, would prefer to hold out until the summer before moving the player on.

But a firm cash offer could reportedly convince them to sell the one-time capped striker now.

Plea good friends with Saint-Maximin

And while Newcastle will not be the only ones keen on a deal, they do apparently hold a ‘secret weapon’.

That’s because Plea’s good friend in the game, Saint-Maximin, is already at St James’ Park.

The two know one another from their time together at Nice, where they enjoyed a fruitful partnership.

Duvan Zapata wanted by Newcastle for €30m from Atalanta

Duvan Zapata is wanted by Newcastle United and Atalanta a received a €30m bid for the striker

And L’Equipe claims Howe is tasking Saint-Maximin with getting into Plea’s ear and talking him into the move.

Plea is capable of playing as a central striker or in a slightly deeper role. As such, the claim Howe sees Alassane Plea as a perfect foil for Wood in attack. And with ASM joining them, Howe believes that three-pronged strikeforce would lift Newcastle up the division.

The report does not mention what sort of fee Newcastle would have to pay to secure his services.

But amid links to Duvan Zapata, a move for Plea looks an easier deal for Newcastle to pull off.

Alassane Plea to be followed by towering defender

Meanwhile, Newcastle are also in the mix to land Attila Szalai from Fenerbahce, according to a report.

Szalai has been on Chelsea’s radar for a while now, with reports even suggesting the two clubs have sorted out a deal.

Fenerbahce have moved to quash those claims, although the 6ft 3in centre-back could yet move to the Premier League.

Sky Sports claim Newcastle and West Ham are both ready to compete with Chelsea for Szalai’s signature.

Howe wants a new partner for Jamaal Lascelles amid concerns over the likes of Ciaran Clark and Fabian Schar. David Moyes, meanwhile, is looking for defensive reinforcements after injuries to Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma.

The Hungary international will apparently cost £17m, which is not too much for a defender of his quality.

READ MORE: Chief confirms Newcastle target ‘will stay’ prompting shift of PIF transfer focus