Newcastle have now enquired about Abdoulaye Doucoure according to reports in France this morning.
The French midfielder (the latest of many – don’t shoot the messenger!) joins the list of Ligue 1 players linked with solving the big weaknesses Newcastle have in the centre of midfield.
The French club knocked back a bid of 10m euros (around £7.5m) in the summer from Watford and L’Equipe say that Newcastle’s FA Cup opponents are ready to try again this month, but face competition from Newcastle and Leicester, who have both allegedly approached Rennes ahead of this transfer window.
The midfielder turned 23 on new year’s day and has been first choice for the last two years, having missed the first half of the 2013/14 season with an MCL knee ligament injury.
In these past two (calendar) years, Abdoulaye Doucoure has scored 15 goals from midfield in all competitions and after missing the start of this season with a shoulder injury, has played 13 times in the league and helped Rennes to seventh place in Ligue 1, only five points off second placed Monaco.
Both Watford and Leicester have had big success this season with their French midfielders, Etienne Capoue and N’Golo Kante starring for their respective teams, so the possibility for the two of them of having an all French pairing.
Newcastle of course still have plenty of French players but only Moussa Sissoko a first team starter, with many fans of the opinion that he should be moved into centre midfield to have more influence, which is where he made his name at Toulouse before the move to Tyneside.