DEREK Llambias has declared that Newcastle United’s French revolution will continue into the summer – with more Ligue 1 targets on the radar in the close season.
The Journal can reveal that United intend to expand their European scouting network in the coming months, and are ready to bring in players from the Dutch and Belgian leagues to add to their growing legion of talented imports.
But Llambias says the club have “not finished” with the French market that they have mined so expertly over the last three years.
United are understood to have run the rule over the Dutch under-21 team last week and were back in France to watch domestic games this weekend.
They retain an interest in St Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was under consideration in the January transfer window and also have a long-standing link with PSV play-maker Georginio Wijnaldum, the 22-year-old who recently broke into the Holland senior squad.
The main thrust of Newcastle’s summer recruitment will be to invest in players underneath the first XI, with United looking for up to eight players ready to push the starting line-up.
They signed one in January in the shape of Massadio Haidara, but were foiled in their attempts to bring striker Forian Thauvin, who moved from Bastia to Lyon despite several bids being lodged.
Newcastle also like Valenciennes defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, although no offer was made to the Ligue 1 club in January.
United’s contacts in the French market have seen them overtake their Premier League rivals as the number one destination for Ligue 1 players, with Newcastle having invested time, money and effort in changing the perception of the club across the Channel.
“There are still targets in France, by the way. We haven’t finished with the French market,” he said.
“We want to expand in Europe. We’ll be moving around Europe: we already do.
“Obviously we like the Dutch market, the Belgian market too. I mean look at the Belgian national team now, it’s outstanding what they’ve done there.
“But there are other areas we’ll explore too. Kevin (Mbabu) is an excellent prospect, he’s 17 and he’s a good acquisition for us. We’re looking everywhere.”