Newcastle are preparing to make an offer for Cheick Keita according to reports this weekend.

The 20 year old left-back has attracted attention from a lot of clubs with his form for Italian club Virtus Entella, with the player watched by scouts from both England and Italy. However, the Sun say that it is Newcastle who are set to make a bid.

As well as bringing in 12 first team squad signings in the summer, Rafa Bentez has also signed a number of younger players to improve the quality of the reserves, as well as five even younger players from five different countries to boost the Academy set-up and hopefully the future.

This means that we shouldn’t be surprised to see any particular age of player targeted by United, though difficult to see Cheick Keita as a Newcastle first team player this season if any deal did happen.

After being released by Monaco, the left-back has now established himself as first choice for the past year and a half at Virtus Entella who are currently eighth in Serie B – even though it is the Italian second tier there is a significant gap between that and being able to perform at the top of the Championship.

Born in Paris, Cheick Keita was recently called up for the Mali first team squad but hasn’t been included in their African Cup of Nations selection for the finals starting next week.