Newcastle United are poised to battle Chelsea for the signature of Lyon attacker Rayan Cherki this summer, according to reports.
The 19-year-old was in fine form in Ligue 1 last season and has caught the attention of several top European clubs.
It’s no secret that Eddie Howe is keen to bolster his Newcastle squad ahead of next season and is expected to bring in several more players.
The Magpies are coming off the back of a tremendous season after finishing in fourth place in the Premier League table.
As a result, preparations are already underway for their first Champions League campaign since 2003.
Newcastle have already brought in highly-rated defensive midfielder Sandro Tonali for £55m. Now, Howe has switched his attention to more attacking options.
For instance, the manager has his eye on the likes of Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes and Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, who are both wingers.
But now, it seems they are also pursuing Cherki – a player who, as mentioned, has been heavily linked with Chelsea for several weeks.
Newcastle plot ‘major attack’ for Cherki
According to French outlet Foot Mercato, Lyon are bracing themselves for a ‘major attack’ from Newcastle for the services of Cherki.
Last season, the youngster made 34 Ligue 1 appearances. In the process, he scored four goals and made six assists.
A versatile player, Cherki has the ability to play as an attacking midfielder or as a winger on either flank. Therefore, he could provide cover in a number of positions for Newcastle.
Chelsea are still firmly in the race for the Frenchman, though, and he would be happy to join his former teammate Malo Gusto at Stamford Bridge. This means we could potentially see a bidding war take place between the two Premier League clubs.
Like Howe, Mauricio Pochettino is also keen to bring in attacking players this summer as he looks to add goals to his squad.
Chelsea netted just 38 times in the Premier League last term – the fifth-fewest in the division. This is something Cherki could potentially help improve.
Foot Mercato do not state how much Lyon will demand for Cherki. However, previous reports suggest that a bid in the region of €50m (approx. £43m) would be enough to secure his services.
The attacker has the potential to become a superstar in the future. So, it will be interesting to see if Newcastle or Chelsea come out on top in the race for his signature.