BOUBAKARY SOUMARE is still firmly in Newcastle United’s summer transfer plans – provided he offers some encouragement to the Tyneside club.

The Magpies’ head coach Steve Bruce is still an admirer of the 20-year-old’s talent in the middle of the pitch and would welcome his arrival.

But Bruce is not interested in reviving a deal for the player if there is little evidence to suggest that he is unwilling to head to St James’ Park.

That was the case in January when Bruce revealed they had an offer accepted that would have been close to breaking the club’s £40m transfer record again.

But Soumare was reluctant to head to the North-East so the deal never materialised, and there was a perception inside St James’ that there was little point in trying to get it done this summer.

However, reports in France are suggesting Newcastle’s offer remains on the table and Lille will be happy for that to be concluded if it is what the player wants.

Soumare and Lille have been in dispute since the breakdown of his move to Newcastle but he is back involved with the first team picture again having been left out of recent squads.

There is plenty of interest in him from the Premier League and elsewhere, but Newcastle are the only club to have had an official offer accepted by the French club.

Newcastle signed three players on loan during the window. Valentino Lazaro, Nabil Bentaleb and Danny Rose were all short-term arrivals and were in the side that lost heavily at Arsenal. Lazaro was signed from Inter Milan and is settling in.

“It’s a lot different, but I’m enjoying it a lot,” said Lazaro. “The lads are great, the team has a good atmosphere. We like to work hard. I’m pretty integrated. It’s a lot of fun. Of course, I want to win and play a lot.

“The first half of the season was really good from Newcastle if you look at the points. Now with the last two games we had some chances - I still think we’re in a good way, just keep working and improving and we definitely have the chance to make it a good season.”