Newcastle United transfer gossip: Magpies scouting Leeds and Everton target, Celtic defender tipped for Tyneside move
Newcastle United are one of several Premier League clubs reportedly keeping a close eye on Barnsley striker Daryl Dike.
The 20-year-old arrived at Oakwell on loan in January as an unknown quantity from MLS side Orlando City, just days after making his senior debut for the USA national team.
However, Dike has quickly grasped his opportunity in England with his five goals in 11 Championship games firing the Tykes into shock play-off contention.
Dike had previously attracted top-flight interest from across Europe – including England, Belgium Germany, and it appears those clubs have kept tabs on his progress.
According to TEAMTalk, Dike has been scouted by the Magpies plus Manchester United, Chelsea, Leeds, Wolves, West Ham and Everton.
Valerien Ismael’s side do have an option to sign him permanently, however will only stand a realistic chance if they’re promoted.
Pundits tips Newcastle to sign Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer
The Magpies have been linked with an £8million move for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer – and former Scotland international Alan Hutton believes it’d be a great move for the Norwegian.
Ajer, 22, has one-year remaining on his contract at Parkhead and has been urged by national team manager Stale Solbakken to secure a bigger move.
As a result, Ajer is said to have set his sights on a move to the Premier League with Newcastle heading the chase to sign him.
Former Aston Villa full-back Hutton is fully in favour of Ajer moving to Tyneside due to the stature of the club.
He told Football Insider: “I think Newcastle are a top team, they’re a massive club.
“Yes, they’re not doing well at the moment but I really believe that any player that’s playing in Scotland and gets the opportunity to move to England and play in one of the best leagues in the world, any of those teams are top teams.
“Personally I think it’s a good move. I think they’re a great, big team. Yes, they’re going to allow a bad spell but we always knew that Ajer would be desperate to leave, that was my opinion.”
It is claimed Steve Bruce’s future at St James’s Park won't prevent the Magpies from making a move this summer. However, relegation to the Championship will.
Achraf Lazaar faces nervous wait at Watford
Former Newcastle flop Achraf Lazaar faces a nervous wait to see if his time at Watford will be extended beyond the end of the season.
The Moroccan ended a disastrous five years on Tyneside when his contract was terminated six months early in January. He then joined the Hornets on a free transfer as cover to Adam Masina.
Lazaar has featured three times for the Championship promotion-chaser but it remains to be seen whether he will be at Vicarage Road next term.
Speaking TuttoMercatoWeb, Watford sporting director Cristiano Giaretta revealed: “We took Lazaar as an alternative, he is paying for Adam’s confirmation, but he showed us that it was an important choice: the player is there, he just needs continuity.
“We have eight games, we must not make mistakes and think of anything else (other) than (what happens on) the pitch.
“Every decision is postponed to the end of the season. We have created a very good position that we must improve. Maximum concentration, head down and on the pedal.”