Lille midfielder Thiago Maia could make a permanent switch to join Newcastle United before the summer transfer window slams shut later this week, according to L’Equipe.
The French newspaper claims that although Lille have made almost £150million in sales since the end of last season, there is still a chance that Maia, 22, could also be on his way out of Stade Pierre Mauroy.
It is understood that the Brazil Under-23 international could either head to Italy on loan or make a permanent move to Tyneside before the Premier League transfer deadline at 5pm on Thursday.
Sky Sports Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has recently claimed that Serie A side Genoa are looking into a loan-to-buy deal for Maia, though the fee involved appears to be a lot lower than his reported £50million release clause [The Sun].
Maia was once one of the most highly-rated defensive midfielders in Brazil [ESPN], but he struggled to play regularly for Lille last season as they finished second in Ligue 1. The 2016 Olympic gold medalist made just 11 starts in the league last season for Lille and featured mainly as a squad player as he appeared 27 times across all competitions. Newcastle might need a new defensive midfielder like Maia before Thursday’s deadline because Isaac Hayden has been very vocal about his desire to leave St James’ Park and move to a club closer to London, where his family are. However speculation surrounding Hayden’s future has been very quiet in recent months and if he is willing to stay, Steve Bruce is better off keeping hold of the ex-Arsenal enforcer rather than going for someone whose career seems to be going backwards after playing a bit-part role at Lille in 2018/19.