Newcastle United have allegedly made an official €1.5m (£1.15, $1.6m) bid to secure the services of Espanyol forward Mamadou Sylla, according to Sport. The Spanish publication claims that the Catalan club are evaluating whether to accept the proposal, as the 21-year-old starlet is considered as one of the biggest talents at the club – and they would rather to send him on loan than let him go permanently.
Having already bolstered the midfield during the current transfer window with the arrivals of Henri Saivet from Bordeaux and former Swansea star Jonjo Shelvey, the Magpies have been linked with a number of forwards in recent days.
The Guardian reported that Steve McClaren's side had decided to end their interest in Tottenham Hotspur's Andros Townsend due to Spurs' high demands for the out-of-favour winger, claiming that Newcastle had switched to other possibilities, with Barcelona youngster Sandro Ramirez and QPR's Matt Phillips among the candidates.
But according to Sport the club have instead opted to make a surprising move for Sylla, a player previously off the radar to Premier League clubs.
Sport claims the Magpies see him as a great prospect for the future, and on 21 January made a bid of €1.5m. Espanyol had previously wanted to send the player away on loan this window, but the Newcastle offer could change their plans.
The Spaniard, who was born in Senegal, has only made six appearances in the opening part of the season, scoring a solitary goal, in the Copa del Rey win over Levante. The club, nevertheless, see him as one of their most promising players after he netted 9 goals for the second team last campaign, also impressing on loan at Racing Santander.
The player was in advanced talks with a loan move to Beveren, but the Newcastle bid has, according to Sport, "completely changed the scenario".