Newcastle learn ridiculous £176m price tag for Brazilian wonderkid targeted by Arsenal and Man City

Matheus Franca of Flamengo

Newcastle could be forced to pay a ridiculous fee for Brazilian youngster Matheus Franca this summer, according to reports.

The Magpies have endured a difficult weekend after losing the Carabao Cup final 2-0 to Manchester United, but Eddie Howe is keen to switch his focus to the future.

Franca could certainly prove to be a worthwhile long-term investment if Newcastle can get a sensational deal for him over the line.

Indeed, the Tynesiders have a host of targets on their wish list for the summer window, as Howe looks to cement his team’s spot at the top of the Premier League.

Despite losing the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, they still have plenty to play for, namely, qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Newcastle are currently four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, but with two games in hand, are still arguably favourites to finish above them in the table.

Regardless of what happens this season, they need to add quality to their squad this summer if they want to continue to compete at the highest level.

The North East club have been heavily linked with a move for Franca for several months nowalong with Arsenal and Manchester City, but according to Fabrizio Romano, it could require a British-record fee to sign the Flamengo youngster.

READ MORE: Newcastle boss Eddie Howe says his players ‘gave everything’ after League Cup final loss to Man Utd

British-record fee required for Franca this summer

This is because Franca has just signed a new contract with the Brazilian club, who have allegedly placed an eye-watering release clause in the midfielder’s deal.

According to RomanoNewcastle will now be forced to pay £176m (€200m) to sign Flamengo’s golden boy this summer, with the club determined they look to defend their Copa Libertadores and Copa do Brazil titles in 2023.

It’s no secret that the Magpies have the funds required to make such a deal happen, but it would be a huge risk given Franca has zero Premier League experience.

The 18-year-old is not yet a regular starter at the Maracana, making only 17 appearances in the league last season, scoring four goals.

While he is not yet the finished article, his potential is clear as day.

A versatile attacking player, with the ability to play as an attacking midfielder, winger or as a central striker, Franca is excellent on the ball and has plenty of tricks to baffle opposition defenders.

Indeed, his talent is reminiscent of a young Neymar and we all know how good he turned out to be.

Given his release clause, Newcastle may be put off making a summer move. But, if he realizes his potential and turns out to become one of the world’s best, they could live to regret that decision.

The Magpies’ hierarchy will now have to weigh up the pros and cons of meeting Franca’s clause, which as mentioned, would mean a new British transfer fee if they do.

READ MORE: Tottenham rocked as Newcastle ready to hijack £25m midfielder signing also wanted by West Ham, Crystal Palace