Newcastle were keen on signing Moussa Diaby during the winter window but backed out of a move when it became clear the prospect wouldn’t be viable until the summer, Christian Falk exclusively revealed in his latest CaughtOffside column.
Interestingly, it seems that the club’s owner, Mohammed bin Salman, utilised his own personal scouting network to support the search for fresh talent.
“I heard Newcastle said that he’s a good option for the club, so they passed their shortlist on to the Sheikh, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has his own scout in Germany. He had to check if Diaby was a possibility they could explore,” the BILD journalist wrote. “Ultimately, they saw that it wouldn’t be an option for the winter, so they went for Anthony Gordon. In summer, however, Diaby could be easier to sign.”
It’s a novel approach to transfers and it goes to show off the bottomless resources the Magpies have available in their pursuit of top four football.
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Remarkably, the side has adopted a far more reserved approach to Chelsea’s scattergun window, recruiting sensibly and in small numbers, presumably in a bid to not upset the current dynamic in the squad.
Bruno Guimarães is perhaps the best evidence Newcastle have on offer when it comes to proving the benefits of their strategy in the market, with the Brazilian having registered seven goal contributions in 24 games, propelling the club to third in the English top-flight.
With Howe’s men perhaps set to return for Diaby (on eight goals for Leverkusen this term) come the summer, the Tyneside-based outfit could become another mainstay in the top four – if they can keep up the quality of their recruitment.