NEWCASTLE UNITED have inquired about the availability of Bouna Sarr, but Spanish side Sevilla are leading the race for the Marseille defender.

Sarr is expected to leave Marseille this summer, with the Ligue 1 club valuing the right-back at around €15m, and Newcastle’s recruitment team regard the 28-year-old as a viable target.

With Magpies manager Steve Bruce reluctant to trigger the £20m clause in Valentino Lazaro’s loan agreement, alternative options for the right-hand side of defence are being considered.

There has been contact with Sarr’s representatives, but while Newcastle’s interest remains at a formative stage with the club’s off-field position still uncertain, Sevilla are leading a group of continental clubs preparing to lodge a formal offer before the end of the month.

Real Betis and Atletico Madrid have also been linked with Sarr, who came through the youth academy at Metz before moving to Marseille in 2015, but Sevilla currently have the strongest interest.

Having finished fourth in the La Liga table, Sevilla are preparing for a summer rebuild ahead of a return to the group stages of the Champions League next season.

Newcastle’s interest in Sarr is partly a reflection of their stance on Lazaro, with the Inter Milan loanee unlikely to be offered a permanent move to Tyneside this summer.

While Bruce is extremely keen to sign Danny Rose on a permanent basis, he is more reluctant to commit £20m to the signing of Lazaro, who has started just three league games since moving to Tyneside.

There is a chance Inter could agree to another loan deal, enabling Lazaro to remain with the Magpies, but clubs in Germany have expressed an interest in the Austrian and if Newcastle fail to trigger the clause in their loan deal, Inter officials could well opt to listen to offers from elsewhere.

Newcastle have also been linked with a possible move for Chris Basham, with the Sheffield United defender having entered the final year of his current deal at Bramall Lane.