According to the agent of Villarreal forward Arnaut Danjuma, Newcastle may have the upper hand over Liverpool in any transfer negotiations.
Since relocating to Spain, the 25-year-old Dutch international has been nothing short of sensational. Danjuma had a strong season with Bournemouth in the Championship, scoring 17 goals in all competitions.
However, the lively winger has had little trouble replicating that form against far tougher opposition in La Liga and the Champions League.
Indeed, his tally for the year currently stands at 16 goals in 34 matches. Six of those strikes came in the Champions League, with Villarreal shocking Juventus and Bayern Munich before bowing out to Liverpool in the semi-finals.
His remarkable rise has predictably seen him emerge on the radars of some of Europe’s big hitters – most notably Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino will all be out of contract in 2023. While it’s common sense to assume one or even two will be handed new deals, just one exit could leave Liverpool short on firepower.
Danjuma has regularly been touted, along with the likes of Raphinha and Jarrod Bowen, as being capable of a step up at Anfield. The trio are all around the age Liverpool’s stellar recruitment team likes to buy.
Reports from the Spanish press in April suggested Liverpool had made contact with Danjuma’s camp.
"Release clause revealed."
His current deal runs all the way until 2026, meaning a deal won’t be made on the cheap.
However, according to Sport Witness, Danjuma reportedly has a release clause within his contract that can see him leave for €75m (£64m).
Whether Liverpool would bid that high for the forward remains to be seen. Logic would dictate they would first have to know one of Salah or Mane was leaving before making a move of that stature.
But according to Sport Witness, the Reds may lose out in any transfer race to Newcastle anyway.
Danjuma’s agent, Michale Moses, was asked about speculation swirling over a potential move to Newcastle. That stemmed from a report referenced by the Sun which put the cash-rich Magpies in the mix.
Moses first detailed his client’s chances of leaving Villarreal this summer before explaining why Newcastle may have an advantage.
“There is a 50 percent chance that Danjuma will leave this summer,” Moses told Radio Castellon.
When pressed on the Newcastle murmurings, Moses concluded the "presence of Eddie Howe can help Newcastle" in any move.
Howe was the manager who brought Danjuma to Bournemouth in 2019 and, clearly, the pair still retain good relations.
Is Danjuma better suited to Liverpool or Newcastle?
The Dutchman’s sterling record this season would suggest he’ll be a smart pick-up wherever he goes.
However, his primary position is left wing, and Liverpool already have Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz occupying that side.
As such, a move to St. James’ Park may be Danjuma’s best bet in order to ensure he is not relegated to being a bit-part player.
The Magpies are trending in the right direction under their new Saudi owners. A signing of Danjuma’s calibre would be a real statement of intent.
Howe can already call upon Allan Saint-Maximin, who operates primarily from the left, which would complicate matters to some degree.
However, few would argue having both in their forward line wouldn’t make Newcastle a more potent threat going forward – even if one were pushed out to the right.