Newcastle United have reportedly put Blackburn Rovers hotshot Ben Brereton Diaz high on their striker shortlist ahead of the January transfer window.

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United are eyeing a January swoop to sign Chile and Blackburn Rovers marksman Ben Brereton Diaz.

Despite all their riches, Newcastle are finding it difficult to attract talent from across Europe. The Magpies are claimed to have created two different transfer lists to overcome the issue. One comprises some promising talents from all across Europe, while the other focuses on the long-term targets, which includes the possibility of a drop to the Championship.

The report mentions a host of players for whom the Magpies could make moves in the upcoming transfer window. It also features a handful of Championship stars, most notably Sheffield United’s Sander Berge and Blackburn Rovers’ Brereton.

After spending his formative years in the Manchester United youth setup, Brereton began his professional career at Nottingham Forest, where he made 53 senior appearances before moving to Blackburn. Since then, the 22-year-old has proved to be a bargain of a signing and been a revelation at Ewood Park. The forward has netted 19 goals in 23 league matches for Tony Mowbray’s side this term.

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Second only to Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic in Championship’s goalscoring charts this season, he is regarded as one of the stand-out players in the second-tier. In addition to this, Brereton has made eight appearances for the Chilean national team, bagging three goals and one assist.

As he continues to excel, his prolific form in front of goal has not gone unnoticed, leading to serious interest from several top-flight sides, including West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion, with the latter thought to be closing in on a £20 million agreement to bring him to the Amex Stadium. Newcastle United seem to be the latest team to join the bandwagon of potential suitors.

While attack is not an area of desperate need for the Magpies, having insurmountable resources at their disposal following their Saudi-led takeover, they can do well by bolstering their striking options. Newcastle’s overreliance on Callum Wilson for goals could backfire later in the season, given the striker’s woeful injury record.

Moreover, with Dwight Gayle linked with a Championship loan exit next month, it makes sense to sign a forward to supply the much-needed goals. Brereton could be a decent pick-up for Newcastle as he ticks a lot of boxes. The Chilean is primarily a striker, but his brilliant ability to carry and dribble with the ball shows the qualities of an inside forward. He is deceptively quick and thrives at running in behind the defences.

Brereton’s current deal expires in 2022, but with Rovers having an option to extend his stay by another year, they could command a hefty fee. Also, with the Lancashire outfit sitting third in the Championship table, just three points off leaders Fulham, they would be reluctant to lose the focal point of their attack. Only time will tell whether the 22-year-old makes a step up to the Premier League or ends up staying at Blackburn.

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