Newcastle United are among a swarm of clubs eying summer deals for Club Brugge forward Emmanuel Dennis, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.
Dennis is believed to have attracted interest from across Europe for his exploits in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, where he has scored five goals in 18 games this season.
The 22-year-old had considered leaving the Jan Breydel Stadium last summer, but remained with the Blauw-Zwart following the appointment of coach Philippe Clement and signed a new deal that keeps him under contract until the summer of 2022.
Brighton & Hove Albion, Sheffield United, Watford, AS Monaco, Fiorentina, Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle are all believed to be interested in prying him from those terms, after Dennis struck twice against Real Madrid in the Champions League Group Stage to promote his stock beyond the advances of OGC Nice and Stade Rennais.
Dortmund are a leading figure in the race for Dennis’ signature having scouted the two-time Nigeria international last week, with manager Lucien Favre ‘charmed’ by the forward’s talents having faced him in the UEFA competition a year ago.
Dennis is well aware of BVB’s intrigue and is said to have discussed life at the Signal Iduna Park with English sensation Jadon Sancho, having met the youngster in Dubai during his winter break.
Would you back a move to sign Dennis in the summer?
It is proposed that Dortmund may be considering Dennis as a replacement for Sancho, and that the yellow and black would be required to pay at least €25million (£21m) to break him from his contract with Brugge.
Blauw-Zwart are open to selling Dennis for a club-record fee, which would see a versatile forward – capable of playing anywhere across the front line – hit the market at the close of the campaign.
Whoever signs Dennis will be capturing a young talent that has previously been likened to Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar for his love of running at the opponent with the ball at his feet.
“The [Zorya Luhansk] fans there really loved what I was doing and they likened me to the Brazilian player Neymar,” Dennis told The Nation. “This is because I love to run the ball to the opponent and dribble them to create chances.
“I do a lot of running and because of that my teammates like to get the ball to me because they know I would take any defence head-on. That kind of worked for me and made me popular among the fans who always crave for exciting football.”
It remains to be seen if head coach Steve Bruce covets Dennis’ signature in the summer, and whether the Nigerian can become Newcastle’s Neymar.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are stepping up their efforts to sign an attacking ‘revelation’ in the summer.