Lee Ryder has confirmed that Newcastle United are “definitely” scouting MLS star Josef Martinez.
The NUFC reporter claimed he was one of several strikers being looked at by the club back in September 2019, and has revealed today that Steve Nickson is continuing to monitor the prolific Venezuelan.
This comes from the Chronicle’s Q&A session, where Ryder said the following when asked if he could be reunited ex-Atlanta Utd teammate Miguel Almiron:
“Steve Nickson has definitely scouted him and they are monitoring (him).”
With us seeming reluctant to panic buy this month and us continuing to ‘monitor’ Martinez, could he be one to watch this summer?
Elsewhere, Ryder also had this to say when asked about our bid to sign Valentino Lazaro – who’s being heavily linked with a move to RB Leipzig instead today:
‘Lazaro was offered a chance at Newcastle.
‘He hasn’t been a hit at Inter Milan and has a lot to do to prove he is a decent player
‘His agent has enjoyed playing the gallery but if he can’t see Newcastle is a big club then it may be time to move on to other targets.
‘Remember when John Salako turned down Newcastle for bigger and better and we ended up with some fella called Ginola!
‘The offer for Lazaro still stands but Geordies won’t lose any sleep if his agent decides there are better offers.‘
Based on Ryder’s comments, it sounds to me like he may be having doubts about a move to St James’ Park – which perhaps explains why RB Leipzig have been afforded the opportunity to make a late move.
Back to Martinez – to say the 26-year-old has been prolific in the MLS over the past few years would be an understatement, with him bagging 88 goals and 10 assists in 100 appearance for Atlanta Utd.
It remains to be seen if we’ll end up making a move for the stocky striker, but with 33 goals this season and 35 in his last year alongside Almiron – who he linked up with superbly – he looks too good for the MLS.
It would be a risk to make a move, with Almiron taking time to find his scoring boots in England, but Martinez’s stocky frame, pace and calmness in front of goal suggest he could be a risk well worth taking.
One to watch this summer?