Reports claim Barcelona are keen to sign Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak but doubts remain over their ability to reach his expected price tag.
The Catalans have made a strong start to the defence of their La Liga crown. Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Betis saw them move to the top of the standings, one point clear of Real Madrid. However, the capital outfit can go back to the summit if they make it five wins from five this term.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side take on Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening.
It looks set to be another battle between the big two for domestic honours in 2023-2024.
Jude Bellingham has made a sensational start to his Real career while Robert Lewandowski continues to do the business for Barca.
The Poland international bagged 33 goals in all competitions during his first campaign for the Nou Camp giants.
And he has already found the net on three occasions in the league this season.
However, the former Bayern Munich star is now 35 and cannot go on for ever.
Therefore club officials are looking for a long-term replacement. And Fichajes, via GOAL claim that Isak is the man in their sights.
The 23-year-old is in his second season for the Tynesiders after moving to St James’ Park for a fee in the region of €70m.
He struggled with injury at times during his maiden campaign in the north east.
However, when fit, the former Real Sociedad ace showed why Eddie Howe brought him to the club.
Isak contract may prevent Barcelona strike
Isak managed to notch ten goals from 17 starts in 2022-23, with 27 appearances in all competitions.
The Scandinavian’s pace and skill is a handful for defences and he is already a very popular player with the Toon Army.
It is not surprising that a club of Barca’s stature have their eyes on the forward.
However, it is open to debate as to whether they could actually afford him. The Spanish giants’ financial problems have been well documented.
And, with Newcastle United handing Isak a contract until 2028, the Premier League club are in the driving seat as regards his future.
It is likely that the Magpies would want in excess of €70m, a figure Barca would struggle to reach.
Other clubs with stronger finances may also enter the picture if Newcastle do ever decide to move him on.
Should he keep on his current upward curve, then the ex-Borussia Dortmund man will not be short of suitors.
He still has plenty of work to do at his present club, however.
Last season’s’ EFL Cup finalists managed just their second win of the campaign when they beat Brentford on Saturday.
And it took a contentious penalty to get them over the line on home turf.
The result leaves them 11th in the table but thoughts have now turned to Europe.
Howe will take his men to Italy next week for Newcastle’s return to the Champions League.
They face AC Milan at the San Siro in what will be a huge test of the progress they have made.