Newcastle After Goalscoring In-Demand French Striker

L’Equipe are reporting today that Newcastle are interested in signing French U-21 striker Sebastien Haller who plays at Eredivisie club FC Utrecht.

The 6ft 2ins striker has played for all of the French Youth sides including 14 appearances for the U-21 side with 9 goals.

Sebastien Halle r-656618

22 year-old Utrecht striker Sebastien Haller

He only joined Utrecht last summer from Auxerre on a permanent basis, but he managed to score 24 goals in 40 appearances and the season before last – from January last year – he was on loan at Utrecht and scored 11 goals in 17 appearances so he seems a good goalscorer.

So in 57 appearances for Utrecht he has scored 35 goals in the last 18 months.

He was heavily linked with with a move to Tottenham earlier this year, but L’Equipe are reporting today that Newcastle have made contact with Utrecht  and have asked about signing the 22 year-old striker.

Sporting Lisbon are also said to be interested in Haller as a potential replacement for  Islam Slimani, after they have accepted a bid of £21M from West Brom for their star striker.

Big spending Everton have also been linked with Haller, who has scored 43 goals in a total of 43 goals in 94 first team appearances so far in his career at Auxerre and Utrecht.

In early April Tottenham were favorites to sign the striker and a fee of around 8M was mentioned at that time, with a host of other clubs also interested in signing the youngster who had been very impressive in the Eredivisie.

Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke 04 were all linked with the player at that time.

Last January Haller was linked with a potential move to then relegation candidates Aston Villa, Norwich and Sunderland, but nothing materialized.

The player is said to be “very fond” of the Premier League, so whether he would be interested in signing for Newcastle in the Championship is a good question.

Haller has represented France 45 times at the various youth levels and scored 21 goals so he looks like a budding top striker based on his record so far.

He is also a big striker at 6ft 2ins, which is what Rafa Benitez is said to be looking for before the end of August.

Comments welcome.