Reports coming out of France claim that Newcastle United are ‘taking a close interest’ in signing Rennes forward Gaëtan Laborde.
The 27-year-old attacker was being chased by a number of clubs last summer before he ended up leaving Montpellier on deadline day to join Ligue 1 rivals Rennes. Since then he has notched an impressive 11 goals and added two assists in 17 matches in all competitions.
His impressive displays have once again alerted English clubs. West Ham were credited with a major interest back in August, but now Newcastle are also in the running.
That’s according to Homme Du Match, who state that the Magpies are ready to move for Laborde in the New Year.
The report adds that the cash rich club ‘would like to integrate’ the forward into their new project. Indeed, the Magpies are expected to bid double the £13.5million Rennes paid for the striker to lure him to Tyneside.
Laborde’s contract runs down in 2025, meaning that French club will only sell for a substantial offer.
However, there is a feeling that if a they were to receive a ‘non-refusable’ offer then they could buckle.
Newcastle are badly in need on reinforcements as they sit bottom of the Premier League table, six points from safety.
Liverpool star still a Newcastle target
Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips reportedly remains a target for Newcastle United despite a change of manager and boardroom on Tyneside.
Eddie Howe is now in situ in the North East and he is on the lookout for new recruits to bolster his squad. Tuesday night’s draw with Norwich did not help their cause at the foot of the table. They are six points adrift of safety and Howe is desperate to improve a defence which has shipped in 30 goals.
And the Telegraph report, Howe has targeted 24-year-old centre-back Phillips.
Phillips has yet to make an appearance in the Premier League and in fact has made the bench only three times. He has made a handful of appearances in the cups, but his first-team options look slim.
He was a valued member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad last season when injuries hit the Anfield club hard.
Phillips made 17 Premier League appearances with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez out injured. But with Van Dijk and Matip back in action, Phillips has been redundant.
He is under contract until 2025, but after getting a taste of first-team action last season it would no doubt relish another chance somewhere else.
Newcastle made contact over signing Phillips in the summer, while Steve Bruce was in charge. However, Phillips was reluctant to leave and Liverpool were demanding a £15m fee, according to The Athletic.
That value has no doubt dropped since with no game time for the player.