Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle on transfer trail of rising Swiss star to plug major gap

Noah Okafor, Ruben Vargas Switzerland v Bulgaria November 2021

Newcastle have added RB Salzburg striker Noah Okafor to their list of potential attacking signings this month, TEAMtalk understands.

The Magpies are facing a massively crucial January transfer window all across the pitch. Defence was an obvious concern and they have subsequently added England right-back Kieran Trippier to their ranks.

But following a calf injury to main striker Callum Wilson, a new forward has become a major priority.

Reports have claimed that a number of targets are now on Newcastle’s transfer radar. Indeed, Liverpool’s Divock Origi and Bamba Dieng of Marseille are supposedly among them.

TEAMtalk has now learned, though, that Salzburg’s Okafor is a potential option.

The 21-year-old moved from Basel in his native Switzerland to Austria in January 2020.

Okafor netted three goals in his first half season in Salzburg as he got up to speed with the club. Last term, meanwhile, he ended the campaign with six goals and six assists in 29 outings in all competitions.

After injuries set him back last campaign, he has hit the ground running this season. In fact, he has already matched his best tally of six league goals.

Newcastle targeting West Ham defender Issa Diop

Newcastle targeting West Ham defender Issa Diop

Newcastle United still need defensive help and are looking at West Ham’s Issa Diop for £10m

Okafor has played 14 of 18 Bundesliga games this season, starting only six and coming off the bench in the other eight. Nevertheless, his longest run without a goal is three games as he continues to impress.

Okafor made his international debut in the 2019 Nations League third-place play-off against England. He made two further outings for his country in the most recent November international break, registering a goal and an assist.

TEAMtalk understands that intermediaries with connections to the player have told Newcastle that he could be available this month. Furthermore, Okafor is open to a move to England.

Newcastle have therefore not discounted a move for the striker as they consider two new signings up top before the window closes.

Okafor one of many Newcastle targets

Jose Fonte, Sven Botman and Jonathan David

However, defence – especially centre-back – remains a pressing concern for Newcastle.

Reports have claimed that the Magpies are after Lille’s Sven Botman.

They have had one bid turned down, but now they have supposedly gone back in with a fresh offer.

Lille do not want to let Botman go, but the reports have claimed that he does have a price on his head.