By 90Min
August 03, 2018

Newcastle United are believed to be close to signing France Under-19 forward Myziane Maolida from Ligue 1 side Lyon.

According to French sports newspaper L'Equipe, the Magpies are currently negotiating with Les Gones for the 19-year-old, who scored in France's 5-0 drubbing of England at this summer's Under-19 European Championship.

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Maolida made just 13 appearances in Ligue 1 last season, scoring one league goal. However, he has been more prolific at international level, netting nine times in 19 appearances for Les Bleus at Under-19 level. Understandably, he wants to be given more game time at club level next season.

Given Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez's notoriously limited budget, Maolida seems to be a sensible target for the Magpies. Deprived of the necessary funds to sign a more established star, Benitez has evidently decided to target a promising young player instead.

However, the Spaniard is not Maolida's only suitor. La Liga side Real Betis are prepared to pay €8m for the teenager, although they will only make an offer if they manage to sell one of their players first.

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In any case, Lyon recently signed prolific English teenage striker Reo Griffiths from Tottenham Hotspur. Griffiths netted 33 goals in all competitions for the Spurs Under-18 side last season, so the French side may now be willing to let Maolida go.

Seeing as the Magpies have now sold striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to Fulham, they certainly need reinforcements up front - especially as they netted just 39 goals in the Premier League last season. This meagre tally makes it all the more remarkable that they finished in a creditable tenth place.

Newcastle fans must have a sense of deja vu this summer, with Benitez making no secret of his dissatisfaction with the funds made available to him by club owner Mike Ashley. Even if the Magpies succeed in signing Maolida, it is unlikely to generate great optimism at St James' Park.

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