Premier League outfit Newcastle United currently have Blackburn Rovers forward Ben Brereton Diaz high on their shortlist ahead of the January window, as per Sky Sports.
The 22-year-old has been a revelation at Ewood Park so far this season after a productive spell away with Chile at the Copa America in the summer, scoring 19 goals in 23 league matches for Tony Mowbray’s side this term and becoming a key cog in the Lancashire outfit’s machine.
Second only to Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic as one of the division’s leading goalscorers this season, he has been labelled by ex-England international Michael Dawson as the best player in the Championship and has stepped up admirably in the absence of Adam Armstrong and Harvey Elliott.
Quiz: Can you name which club Blackburn Rovers sold these 26 players to?
Both looked set to leave a huge void to fill at Ewood Park after their respective departures to the top flight, but with their failure to recruit a forward, the Chilean has stepped up admirably and has fired his current side to third place in the second tier ahead of this Boxing Day’s round of fixtures.
Continuing to impress, he has been the subject of interest from several top-flight sides including Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham United, with the former thought to be closing in on a £20m agreement to bring him to the Amex Stadium.
A deal is yet to be sealed just yet though, giving the Magpies hoping of recruiting the forward, though they also reportedly have Stoke City’s Tyrese Campbell on their radar as another rising EFL star according to The Sun.
The Tyneside outfit’s boss Eddie Howe has spent much of his managerial career in the EFL with AFC Bournemouth, and may decide to utilise the Championship market to the maximum with Sheffield United’s Sander Berge joining Brereton Diaz and Campbell on his shortlist.
Although this could be a great signing for Newcastle considering the perfect mix of youth and experience the Chilean has, currently just 22 but with a decent amount of second-tier football under his belt, making this signing mid-season could be quite a risk.
Currently in great goalscoring form, his confidence could be shot to pieces if he moves to St James’ Park and doesn’t get in and amongst the goals straight away, so this is a move they should opt against at this stage.
Scoring seven goals and recording five assists last term, this is a respectable record but it doesn’t quite match up to this term’s scintillating form, so it would probably benefit all parties to see how he gets on for the remainder of this campaign before making a decision on whether to launch a bid for him or not.
This will be good for Blackburn who will be desperate to keep him at this stage, especially with a play-off place on the line and automatic promotion within their sights after thriving with the forward as a focal point in their attack.
The likes of Sam Gallagher and Tyrhys Dolan may be able to step in alongside Reda Khadra in his absence, but losing him now would be a massive blow for Mowbray so he’s definitely one for them to keep. They will be hoping he signs a new contract at Ewood Park too.