Many Newcastle United fans have been reacting on social media to reports by the Daily Mail, claiming that Toon scouts have watched Olympique Lyonnais striker Moussa Dembele.
The former France U21 international has been in inspired form in front of the net this season, with 14 goals and three assists in 28 games across all competitions for a goal contribution of 17, including 11 goals in 19 Ligue 1 appearances.
Dembele had been on a five-game drought heading into the French top-flight’s winter break, but emerged refreshed at the weekend to score the winning effort away to Girondins de Bordeaux having trailed at the break.
The Magpies are said to have had scouts in attendance at the Matmut Atlantique for the Ligue 1 affair, where talent spotters working for Manchester United, Man City and West Ham joined our transfer team in the stands.
It is not suggested that a January bid from either is on the cards, or whether any of the scouts were sent to the match to watch other players.
As well as scoring the winning effort on Saturday, Dembele hit the woodwork in the 74th-minute with a high, right-footed effort from inside the penalty area, while lashing another effort wide and seeing another blocked.
The 23-year-old also played two key balls amid 22/29 accurate passes, completed three of his five dribbles, won just one of seven aerial duels and was dispossessed three times, per WhoScored data.
Could the club strike a deal for Dembele?
Manchester United have long been credited with an interest in Dembele, and were said to have made contact with Lyon over a potential move last summer when the Ligue 1 side slapped a £43million asking price on the forward.
Reports of our scouts watching the former Celtic talent in action come with a note to Lyon looking elsewhere for attacking options, with Rudi Garcia’s Les Gones said to be interested in Le Havre’s Tino Kadewere and Villarreal’s Karl Toko Ekambi.
Should either move to the Groupama Stadium natives this month, Dembele may be awarded the chance to join one of the allegedly interested parties, likely providing Lyon’s asking price is met.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to our interest in Dembele…
Would they take Joelinton and £1m?
— David Burdis (@mintydave01) January 12, 2020
Not getting him then are we
— Mark Kavanagh (@markkav14) January 12, 2020
Hahaha that’s hilarious!!!
— mr1234 (@onmyshoe) January 12, 2020
Hahaha 43m, Ashley will give them 15m and a SD mug
— Mark ⚫️⚪️ (@MarkMazzocchi) January 12, 2020
Might as well watch Messi because we’ve no chance of pulling that transfer off 😂 I’d say we’ve been looking at some of the Bordeaux players
— Ryan Osborne (@RyanOsborne9) January 12, 2020
£43m is the new £6.2m
— Malfurious (@MalfuriousP) January 12, 2020
43 million 🤣🤣 yea I’m sure Newcastle will be in for him 🤣🤣🤣
— Will Matthews (@WillMatthews87) January 12, 2020
We should spend 40M on him than Joelinton
— Ginkoh_NUFC (@Ginkohro) January 12, 2020
We paid 40m for a worse player
— Lucas B. (@lulucasbarboza) January 12, 2020
This just cracked me up ! Imagine the look on all our faces if we wake up one morning and it’s like “ we got him “
— Ian Solo (@IanSolo75) January 12, 2020
In other Newcastle United news, the club have reportedly made contact with a £7.2m-rated defender.