Newcastle United have not abandoned their pursuit of Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare, according to reports in France.
Soumare was heavily linked with a move to Tyneside in January in what would have been a club record deal for the Magpies, but he turned the opportunity down.
The 21-year-old retains a desire to play in the Premier League, though, with Manchester United and Liverpool mentioned as possible destinations.
Reports have even gone as far as to say that league leaders Liverpool have already opened talks over the potential signing of the midfielder.
According to Le10Sport (via Diario Sport), though, several other options are available to Soumare – and he could be given a second chance to say yes to Newcastle.
Discussing interest in the player from Real Madrid, the French outlet claims that Newcastle “have not yet thrown in the towel” for Soumare and may return with a fresh bid in the summer.
However, if Madrid’s interest is also genuine, then Newcastle would no doubt face a battle to convince the France Under-21 international.
Zinedine Zidane is keen on the Lille star as a potential midfield reinforcement if he cannot acquire the services of their compatriot Paul Pogba – although Soumare remains an alternative to the Manchester United star and fellow Frenchman Eduardo Camavinga.
Newcastle may give Soumare the best option in terms of playing time, and are also prepared to double his salary – but the calibre of clubs they are competing with would likely have no problems matching their financial offers.