Newcastle United have been given a boost in their pursuit of St Etienne winger Jonathan Bamba after the 21-year-old refused to sign a new contract with the Ligue 1 club, reports TalkSPORT.
Rafael Benitez had tried to sign the exciting young forward during the summer, however St Etienne were reluctant to part ways with one of the club’s most promising talents.
Bamba’s contract at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard expires next summer however, and with him refusing to sign an extension, he will be free to leave the Ligue 1 outfit come the end of the season.
It is understood Bamba is awaiting other offers before deciding upon his future.
The Ivorian has spent the past 18 months on loan with Paris FC, Sint-Truiden and Angers but has this season been given his chance at St Etienne, an opportunity he has since grasped with both hands.
Bamba has found the net 4 times already this season, helping his side pick up a respectable 14 points from their opening 8 games in what is becoming an increasingly competitive top division.