Out of the blue, French sports outlet L’Equipe just reported there is interest in Moussa Diaby from Newcastle United. The note dropped late on Thursday, with the newspaper covering a few French players doing it in the Bundesliga that might chance teams this summer—Diaby included.
Moussa Diaby, 22 years of age, started his professional career in Italy’s Serie A with Crotone back in 2018 when the Italian side got relegated after finishing 18th in the top-flight division. He only played 69 minutes over two games, though he started one of those matches.
Paris Saint-Germain lost no time in snatching Diaby from Crotone in time for the 2018-19 season and Diaby already saw his playing time jump from 69 to a bulky 1,141 minutes of Ligue 1 play starting 10 games for PSG and logging minutes in 25 of them over the year.
It was then German side Bayer Leverkusen who got their hands on the French youngster making him a bona fide weekly starter for them for three consecutive seasons spanning from 2020 to the recently finished 2022. In those three years, Diaby has played 92 games for 04 while helping the club finish 5th, 6th, and ultimately 3rd in the Bundesliga and thus qualifying for the 2022-23 Champions League only behind Bayern Munchen and Borussia Dortmund and ahead of RB Leipzig.
Diaby is coming off a 25-goal-contribution season in which he scored 13 himself while assisting on 12 more scoring plays. He’s also become a steady performer for the national side, and is projected to be a very important piece come Qatar’s 2022 WC later this year.
The main problem (figuratively and not literally, because Saudi Arabia...) is the fact that Bayer Leverkusen is just not going to give Diaby away for free to the first suitor that comes calling. There have been reports quoting a potential £60 million baseline with much higher ceilings in terms of the potential transfer fee to pay 04. Add the wages and other sign-on bonuses, and the impact on the Magpies Financial Fair Play numbers could all of a sudden be huge.
This, though, is the type of player Newcastle should be targeting this summer and onwards: young, with sky-high potential, and a flashy future under the bright lights of St James’ Park. Here’s hoping this turns into a reality or, at the very least, highlights the way in which the new board is trying to operate when it comes to inking transfers through the next few weeks and months.