In November of 2019, it was revealed that Newcastle’s Head of Recruitment, Steve Nickson, was on a scouting mission in South America. When asked about his chief scout at the time, Steve Bruce made the following declaration:
“He’s in South America on business.”
Newcastle have been linked with a few South American prospects over the past couple of years. We added Peruvian Rodrigo Vilca just before last summer’s window slammed shut. Bruce has a decision to make on the best path forward for the 22-year-old.
Before Vilca was brought in for around £250k, Newcastle were linked with a couple of South American wonderkids in Facundo Pellistri and Alan Velasco. Pellistri ended up landing at Manchester United in a big-money move last October while Velasco (shown above) has remained with Argentina’s Independiente.
In January, Newcastle were again linked to the teenage winger. However, his reported release clause of £17m made him an unlikely target.
Football Insider recently reported that Brighton are trying to seal a move for the 19-year-old. They are apparently willing to shell out some serious cash for him.
According to the report, The Seagulls have had a £6m pound offer rejected for the young Argentine. They are apparently undeterred and readying an improved bid to test Independiente’s resolve in keeping hold of their prized winger.
There’s little chance Newcastle will enter the fray with a reported budget in the £10m range. Bruce cannot take a risk of spending anywhere near that amount for a teenager who will take time to develop.
It remains to be seen if Brighton are able to land the young dribbling maestro. However, the fact that they have reportedly bid £6m for him after a season playing behind closed doors could mean some clubs in the bottom half of the table have a better than anticipated summer budget.