Newcastle keen on Senegal striker swoop for Moussa Konate
Newcastle United have reportedly sent scouts to run the rule over Senegal striker Moussa Konate, as the Tyneside team attempts to strengthen its firepower ahead of next term.
The Sion sharpshooter currently plies his trade in the Swiss Super League, and is said to have attracted attention across Europe with his scoring exploits for club and country.
Powerful Konate’s pace and physicality would appear to make him a perfect fit for the Premier League, and would surely put pressure on compatriot and suspended Magpies poacher Papiss Cisse.
Cisse will miss Newcastle’s next seven games after being judged to have spat at Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, and his upcoming absence has highlighted the Magpies’ dearth of top quality attacking options.
Should Newcastle decide that Cisse, who has already been in the spotlight for disciplinary issues on the pitch this season, is too unpredictable to rely on, the club could draft in another frontman.
French forward Emmanuel Riviere and Spanish starlet Ayoze Perez have both shown promise in bursts, but the Magpies need depth and a danger man who can be consistent.
It is thought Konate, aged 21 and still a poaching prospect himself, is not necessarily Newcastle’s first choice-centre forward. The Magpies hierarchy are also said to be tracking Burnley’s Danny Ings and Anderlecht attacker Aleksandar Mitrovic, among others, but could miss out on both.
Ferocious Lions of Teranga forward Konate could prove to be a brilliant back-up option, however, and will already be familiar to English football fans.
The youngster represented Senegal at the 2012 London Olympics, grabbing five goals in four games, including against Team GB, and ended as the tournament’s second top scorer.
Now, eight-capped Konate is pushing for inclusion in his nation’s regular starting XI, after replacing West Ham United marksman Diafra Sakho in Senegal’s recent Africa Cup of Nations squad.
The Hammers and Aston Villa are just two top tier clubs said to have previously weighed up moves for the starlet, but it is the Magpies that look set to swoop this summer.
Konate, who has already enjoyed a stint in Italian football with Genoa, can be deployed on either wing as well as up top, and his versatility could prove vital for the Northeast outfit.
After making five assists and scoring seven goals in 16 outings across all competitions for Sion this season, Newcastle will need to move fast before Konate becomes coveted by other clubs.