Newcastle United transfer rumours: Rafa Benitez opens talks with potential Ayoze Perez replacement
Rafa Benitez may not yet be sure whether he will remain on Tyneside past the end of the current Premier League season, but reports suggest he is already lining-up potential new recruits ahead of the 2019/20 season.
And Get Football France claim that Newcastle have shown a strong interest in Monaco youngster Mehdi Zerkane - whose current contract is set to expire this summer.
The 19-year-old has impressed for the Ligue 1 side in the UEFA Youth League this term and is being watched by a handful of sides ahead of a potential summer swoop.
Indeed, the report claims that the Magpies have already opened talks with the attacker over a potential move, but face competition from an unnamed French side.
Zerkane could be viewed as a potential replacement for Ayoze Perez, with speculation rife over the Spaniard's future at St James's Park.
Italian outlet Radio Marte claim that an intermediary has been offering the former Tenerife striker to a number of clubs in Italy's Serie A and the Premier League.
Inter Milan and Napoli are both believed to be keen on a swoop for Perez after his impressive campaign - with a £25million price tag suggested.