Newcastle and Southampton were linked with Jean-Philippe Mateta over the weekend by the French media, but freelance journalist Neil Farrington understands the Magpies, nor any other Premier League side, have yet bid for the FSV Mainz 05 forward.
L’Equipe claimed in their Sunday edition that Mainz had received offers from a range of clubs across Europe, ranging from €20m to €25million (£17.7m to £22.2m) for the 21-year-old, whom they only signed last summer for €10million (£8.8m).
The alleged offers were understood to have been rejected by the Bundesliga outfit, however, as the Opel Arena natives are holding out for €35m (£31.1m) to €40million (£35.5m) if they are to part ways with the forward who was involved in 17 German top-flight goals (14 scored, 3 assisted) during the 2018/19 season.
Most of the France U21 international’s strikes under Sandro Schwarz came during the latter half of the term, though, with Mateta enduring an opening run of nine games where he only scored once.
Mateta struggled to breakthrough at Olympique Lyonnais before joining Mainz, as well, having only made two senior appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit after joining from French second-division side LB Chateauroux in 2016 – where he had worked his way through their youth system.
Newcastle not making a formal bid for Mateta should not be a surprise, in reality, as we are still seeking guarantees over who our manager will be come July 1, as Rafa Benitez’s current deal is nearing its expiration date.
But should the Spaniard continue at the helm and manage to convince Mike Ashley to spend €35-40million on a striker, Mateta would be an attractive target to chase, as he has the makings of a finisher who can lead the line at St James’ Park.
His goals for Mainz in the recent season all show his qualities, as Mateta demonstrated great reactions, a willingness to take on defenders, a presence in the air, and often made the right runs to meet the ball in a dangerous position.