Newcastle United are reportedly interested in a January swoop for Watford winger Ismaila Sarr, but the Hornets are adamant about keeping hold of their prized asset.

According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle United’s new Saudi-led regime apparently wants Senegalese star Ismaila Sarr as their first January signing. But Watford are reluctant to sell their influential forward in the winter window as they fight to stay up in the Premier League.

The Magpies find themselves in a difficult position in the Premier League and are currently sitting second-from-bottom in the league table, and their main priority is to avoid relegation. The St. James’ Park outfit are thought to be preparing for a big revamp at the turn of the year, with the new hierarchy assessing key areas in need of reinforcements for the second half of the season.

In recent days, the Toon have been linked with players having Premier League pedigree such as James Ward-Prowse and James Tarkowski. The report adds that Newcastle have drafted newly-promoted Watford’s Ismaila Sarr as one of their key transfer targets, as they aim to build a team capable of competing with the best in the Premier League.

Sarr signed for Watford from Ligue 1 outfit Stade Rennais back in summer 2019 for a reported deal worth up to £40 million. Although the Hertfordshire outfit got relegated that season, Sarr appeared to be a jewel on their hands. He flourished in the Championship, netting 13 goals and providing ten assists, helping the club secure instant promotion back to the Premier League.

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In total, Sarr has an impressive tally of 23 goals and 16 assists in 79 appearances for the Hornets. The Génération Foot academy product has been in a stellar run of form in the current campaign and has four goals from nine Premier League games. Regarded as one of the top talents in the league, the 23-year-old’s impressive performances have not gone unnoticed, with Liverpool and now a wealthy Newcastle considering a move for the Senegalese international.

Newcastle are well-stocked on the flanks but lack any real quality and goal-scoring aptitude in the right-wing slot. Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Ryan Fraser boast a poor end product and are yet to contribute with a goal or an assist between them this term. Apart from Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, the Magpies appear light in the attacking department.

While he might come with a hefty price tag, Sarr would be an excellent first January signing for the Toon. A real talent with pace to burn, skilled dribbling and an ever-improving end product in the final third, he can be a fine addition to the roster. The attacking trio of Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Sarr could strike fear into the hearts of most top-flight defences.

However, with the player contracted until June 2024 at Vicarage Road, the ball is pretty much in Watford’s court. The report also states that Hornets would be unwilling to lose their key asset halfway through the season, especially to a relegation rival when they themselves are embroiled in a relegation battle. Only time will tell whether the 34-capped Senegalese international remains in Hertfordshire or moves elsewhere for a fresh challenge come January.

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