NEWCASTLE UNITED are favourites to sign Kingsley Coman if the highly-rated teenage striker turns down the offer of a professional deal at Paris St Germain.
Coman, who does not turn 18 until later this month, became the youngest player in Paris St Germain’s history when he made his senior debut as a 16-year-old two seasons ago.
Since then, he has progressed through the French club’s junior set-up, and PSG officials have offered him a full-time contract at the Parc des Princes.
However, with his first-team options with the French champions likely to be limited, Coman is understood to be considering turning his back on the club that nurtured him in order to progress his career elsewhere.
Laurent Blanc only gave him 55 minutes of senior football last season, and with PSG expected to add to their ranks again this summer, the situation is unlikely to improve next term.
Juventus and Arsenal both sent scouting delegations to watch Coman in action at academy level last season, but it is unlikely that his first-team prospects would be significantly enhanced at either of those clubs.
Newcastle would initially field Coman in their development side, but will cite the likelihood of a quicker route to the senior team as a key factor in their favour if the youngster turns down PSG to look elsewhere.
Newcastle officials are also pondering a move for long-term target Dimitri Payet, who has been put on the transfer list at Marseille.
Magpies chief scout Graham Carr has been monitoring Payet, a winger capable of playing on either flank, for the best part of two years now, although the club have never made a formal move for the 27-year-old.
Payet falls outside the preferred age range that was outlined by managing director Lee Charnley a couple of months ago, but Mike Ashley has previously indicated that he is willing to be flexible if a desirable deal demands it.
With new Marseille head coach Marcelo Bielsa keen to offload a player who was bracketed in the £10m price range 12 months ago, Newcastle may feel they can strike a bargain with interest from elsewhere understood to be limited.
Newcastle have also been linked with Cagliari winger Victor Ibarbo, who is a member of the Colombia squad that will compete at this summer’s World Cup.
Ibarbo has entered the final year of his current deal in Sardinia, with Cagliari officials conceding that they may have to cash in and move him on before the transfer window closes.
However, with Ibarbo closeted away with the rest of the Colombian squad in a pre-World Cup training camp, nothing will happen until after the tournament in Brazil.
“At the moment, it’s impossible to speak about the market as he’s going to the World Cup,” said Cagliari sporting director Nicolo Salerno. “He is very likely to end up at a big European club. But now it is important that he has an important World Cup.”
While most current attention is being focused on potential incomings at St James’ Park, Steven Taylor’s agent has revealed his client will be going nowhere this summer despite his limited first-team action last season.
“I can confirm I have had talks to several clubs with regards to Taylor,” said Jonathan Hope. “Yes, a lot of interest and great opportunities, but I will state now Steven Taylor is going nowhere. He is contractually obliged to Newcastle United, and wants to play for the club he loves.”