Genk striker Mbwana Samatta, reportedly a transfer target for Newcastle United, was on Magpies head coach Steve Bruce’s radar at Sheffield Wednesday, according to The Chronicle.
The newspaper claims that the Toon boss was given the ‘inside track’ on the 26-year-old by ‘friends he trusts’ earlier this year after wanting a second opinion on the player while at his previous club.
The BBC claimed on Friday that both Newcastle and West Ham United are interested in triggering the Genk frontman’s £10million release clause.
The Magpies are thought to be looking at a number of up-and-coming talents around the globe.
This is interesting, isn’t it? Obviously you would think that West Ham would be able to outbid Newcastle in terms of wages offered to Samatta, but if Bruce can demonstrate a long-term interest in the player then that could persuade the Tanzanian to opt for a switch to St James’ Park over the London Stadium. It’s interesting that Bruce asked ‘friends he trusts’ to take a look at Samatta rather than Wednesday’s actual scouts. Perhaps that suggests that the Genk man was more someone Bruce was looking at rather than a player the Owls were targeting as a club. That could play to his advantage if Newcastle do seriously go in for Samatta in January. For £10million, and given the player’s track record in front of goal, it’s probably worth the Magpies taking a punt on Samatta come the New Year. They’ve certainly had a problem scoring goals this term, with club record signing Joelinton only netting once, so perhaps Bruce’s own insight into Samatta could help them seal the deal in January.