Mamadou Sylla's agent, Jordi Alburquerque, has confirmed to IBTimes UK that Newcastle United are after the Espanyol starlet. Reports earlier this week suggested the Magpies had offered €1.5m (£1.1m, $1.6m) for his signature, and Alburquerque admitted that a transfer to England would be a "dream" move for the youngster, although matters could be complicated by his €18m release clause.
Newcastle's intention, he adds, would be to loan the player out to a Championship side to continue his development before returning to St James' Park.
Catalan newspaper Sport broke the news on Thursday, claiming Newcastle had launched an official bid to secure the services of the Espanyol striker, amid speculation linking them with a number of attacking players, including the likes of Barcelona youngster Sandro Ramirez and Spurs outcast Andros Townsend.
Mamadou's agent believes that Newcastle's interest is not connected with those deals, as they see him as a player for the future rather than an instant starter. He added that he has been informed by intermediaries about the Magpies' interest, but is unaware of any official move by the Premier league outfit.
"A group of intermediaries contacted me to let me know about Newcastle interest in securing his services. They said that Newcastle are willing to pay £1m to sign him but it is unclear if it will be to play for the fist team or to loan him straight away to a Championship side," Alburquerque said to IBTimes UK.
"They want him as a prospect for the future but I have not had direct contact with Newcastle yet. I have done previous deals with this group and I know that the Newcastle interest is strong but I do not know if there has already been a formal offer to Espanyol."
Alburquerque admits that his player is likely to make the move to St James' Park although the striker will need to spend some time on loan before making into Steve McClaren's plans. He has only made nine appearances for the Espanyol first team following his debut earlier this season.
Asked whether the player is likely to make the move to Newcatle, he said: "Yes, Mamadou's dream has always been to play in the Premier League. He has always said that his priority is to go to England, even if he has to start with a loan to a Championship side. He also has other offers from some in Belgium and Holland but right now his priority is to go to England."
Alburquerque, nevertheless, suggested that it will not be easy for Newcastle to convince Espanyol to part ways with the player on a permanent basis. The Catalan club are eager to let him go on loan to further his development, but they still believe in his long-term future. He netted 9 goals for the club's second team in the first part of last season before moving on loan to Racing Santander.
"The problem is that Espanyol want a loan deal with no option for the other club to get his services permanently. We recently signed a new deal at the club with a release clause of €18m and is complicated. Let's see what happens. I'll have a meeting to Espanyol but selling for £1m is not an easy situation."
Having signed Ayoze Perez in the past, the Magpies have good contacts in Spain and last season tried to secure the services of Sporting Gijon centre-back Jorge Mere and Real Sociedad summer signing David Concha. The deals for those two fell apart after Alan Pardew left the club.