On Saturday, Portuguese outlet A Bola reported that Newcastle United had made an opening offer of £13m for Porto striker Moussa Marega.
The Northern Echo’s Scott Wilson then said negotiations were set to continue between the two clubs – with our ‘bid’ a few million short of their asking price – however Sky Sports’ Keith Downie reported on Sunday afternoon that it was his understanding we had NOT yet made a move for the 29-year-old powerhouse whose contract expires next summer.
Marega’s agent, Aziz Ben Aissa, has now addressed talk of a potential move, insisting he has been contacted by ‘several English clubs’ and dreams of playing in the Premier League.
Here’s what he told A Bola, the outlet that first reported out alleged bid on Saturday:
“At 29, Moussa is no longer old enough to have dreams.
“Playing in the Premier League, more than an illusion, is an objective, as it will be for most footballers.
“Yes, it is true that I have been contacted by several English clubs.
“If a business arises that allows FC Porto to earn good money with the transfer, that would be perfect and would make Moussa very happy, because what he liked most was to repay FC Porto for the investment made by the club in so many years of contract,”
Interestingly, the A Bola report that include his agents quotes claim that ourselves, West Ham and Crystal Palace are all interested in Marega.
With Downie’s comments in mind, it makes you wonder if A Bola and his agents are simply trying to drum up interest for a player whose contract at Porto expires in 10 months time and push him towards a potential Premier League move before it’s A) too late for him personally and B) too late for his club to receive a decent fee?
Who knows, but with his pace, power and record of 60 goals and 20 assists in the last three seasons in mind, I’m hoping there is actually some truth in this one.
I have my doubts given he turns 30 next April, but Mike Ashley may be happy to spend around £13m on him when Callum Wilson – Bruce’s ‘top target’ and a striker just a year younger than Marega – has a reported price tag of £30m!