Central midfield is likely going to be an area of need for Newcastle United this summer, with uncertainty surrounding the futures of Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey.
31-year-old veteran Mohamed Diame is, as of now, scheduled to be released by the club as well, and if Hayden and Shelvey follow him out then the Magpies would have just Ki Sung-yueng and Sean Longstaff as senior central midfielders.
It looks like the club are trying to sort that situation out, though. Italian outlet Calcio Mercato reported earlier this week that Newcastle are interested in making a move for £13million-rated Udinese midfielder Seko Fofana.
The Ivory Coast international is actually a former Manchester City player, although he never made anything resembling an impression at the Etihad Stadium before joining the Serie A side in 2016.
Since that switch he has gone from strength to strength, to such an extent that European giants AC Milan and Sevilla are also thought to be monitoring him.
However, if Newcastle manage to bring him in then they would get the whole of the Toon talking. Fofana is exactly what they need, a combative, box-to-box midfielder in a very similar mould to the outgoing Diame, actually – only seven years younger.
£13million isn’t an outrageous sum, and is certainly affordable for the Magpies. Given the dearth of options it looks like they’re going to have in central midfield next season, a move for Fofana is an absolute must.
Longstaff is obviously the future of the Newcastle midfield, but Fofana would be a perfect partner for him in the middle of the park. He has the athleticism, intelligence and experience to be successful in the Premier League alongside someone as gifted as the young Englishman.
The Magpies must pull out all the stops to bring the 24-year-old in this summer – he could take their midfield to the next level.