NEWCASTLE UNITED are set to step up their interest in teenage striker Evann Guessand, with the club’s recruitment team having identified the 19-year-old as a potential rising star.

The Magpies will be without Callum Wilson for the final three games of the season after he sustained a hamstring injury in Friday’s win at Leicester City, and while their leading scorer should be available for the start of pre-season training, Steve Bruce will oversee a major overhaul of the club’s attacking ranks in the next few weeks.

Andy Carroll is set to depart as a free agent when his latest short-term contract expires next month, and while Dwight Gayle has been offered a new deal, the fact he is yet to sign it suggests the terms of Newcastle’s offer are markedly less lucrative than his current agreement.

Elliott Anderson has been knocking on the door of the Magpies’ first-team squad this season, but in an ideal world, Bruce would like to send the youngster out on loan next term.

The Newcastle boss has accepted he will have to sign a couple of new forwards this summer – the number would rise to three if Arsenal were to refuse to allow Joe Willock to return to Tyneside on either a permanent or another temporary basis – and Guessand is regarded as an increasingly attractive target.

The French forward is a product of Nice’s youth system, but has spent the current campaign on loan at Swiss side Lausanne, where he has scored seven goals and four assists.

His performances have improved as the season has progressed, culminating in last weekend’s display against FC Zurich which featured a scorpion-style equaliser that commanded attention right across the continent.

While Guessand’s contract is due to expire this summer, Nice are understood to have a clause that will enable them to extend it. However, while they are expected to take that course of action, they could then look to cash in by selling the youngster while his stock is reasonably high.

Southampton have been linked with a possible move in the last couple of days, but Newcastle’s scouting team are understood to have compiled a number of dossiers on Guessand and the club’s hierarchy are ready to take their interest to the next level with a formal approach.

Guessand, who was born in Corsica and has Ivorian roots, has represented France at a variety of youth levels up to Under-18s, and made his senior debut for Nice in the French Cup last season before heading out on loan.

He is one of six Nice players who have been on loan at Lausanne this season – both clubs are owned by the British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe – and while he remain extremely raw, Newcastle have profited from signing relatively unproven players from Ligue 1 on a number of occasions in the past.

The Magpies return to action when they host Manchester City on Friday night, and Wilson will not be involved after his damaging his hamstrings in the win over Leicester.

The England international completed the game at the King Power Stadium, but picked up the problem in the final few minutes.

With Newcastle's Premier League survival now mathematically guaranteed after Fulham's relegation was confirmed as they lost to Burnley on Monday night, there is no need for the Magpies to take any risks with Wilson in the next few weeks.

As a result, he will sit out the games with Sheffield United and Fulham as well as the meeting with Manchester City, but with the injury not deemed to be too serious, he should be available for the start of pre-season training later this summer.