Newcastle United have moved ahead of Celtic in the race to sign Wigan Athletic striker Kyle Joseph, a report from The Daily Mail has claimed.
It was reported earlier this year that Celtic were closing in on a deal for the 19-year-old, amid interest from the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Rangers.
Now however, it seems as though Joseph could be set to complete a move that takes him to a different destination entirely.
According to this latest report, Newcastle have now moved into pole position to sign the teenager, after holding productive talks with Wigan about a potential deal.
It is thought that the Magpies are willing to pay Wigan £850,000 for the signing of Joseph, who the Latics will be entitled to compensation for due to his age, despite the fact he is out of contract this summer.
That is a significant amount more than Celtic, who are said to be offering £230,000 for the teenager.
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Newcastle are also apparently confident that Joseph has the ability to push for a place in their first-team should he make the move to St James’ Park this summer.
A graduate of Wigan’s academy, Joseph has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the Latics, scoring five goals, although he has been prevented from featuring in his side’s battle against relegation from League One in recent months due to a back injury.
On the face of it, the interest there is from elsewhere means this does look to be something of a coup for Newcastle.
However, on closer inspection, the suggestion that the Magpies see Joseph as a potential first-team contender for next season, makes this a far less convincing piece of business from the Premier League club.
While Joseph undoubtedly has plenty of potential, his goals return this season is not exactly prolific, and it would be a huge step up for him to make from a League One relegation to – potentially – the Premier League at such a young age.
This therefore feels to me a bit like Newcastle could be trying to solve their goalscoring at least partially on the cheap, and given the pressure they would be putting on someone who is still at such an early stage of his career, plus their own current precarious predicament, it does feel as though there are a number of ways in which this could backfire.