Newcastle United have reportedly been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Benoit Badiashile, who is keen on moving to St. James’ Park.

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United remain in talks with AS Monaco over signing French central defender Benoit Badiashile despite his recent injury and have received a significant transfer boost, with the player fancying a move to St. James’ Park.

The Toon have improved their backline in the ongoing window with the high-profile addition of England right-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid. Still, they are far from done with Newcastle boss Eddie Howe keen to bring in at least two central defensive reinforcements by the end of the transfer window.

The Magpies have been linked with numerous defensive players, with Lille’s defensive stalwart Sven Botman their priority target for the centre-back role. But the French outfit has knocked back multiple bids from Newcastle, forcing them to turn to alternative options.

The Tyneside club has also been linked with Feyenoord’s Marcos Senesi and Sevilla defender Diego Carlos this week, but AS Monaco star Badiashile has emerged as a prime target for Newcastle. The 20-year-old picked up an injury against Nantes last Sunday, and there were initial fears that a lon-layoff could potentially scupper the chances of any deal.

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However, as per the latest update from Fabrizio Romano, the defender will only miss two to three weeks through injury, meaning the negotiations could be back on the deck. The report adds that the Monaco defender, who has been linked with multiple top European clubs in the past, is eager to join Newcastle United by the end of this month.

Even though the Tynesiders are yet to submit a bid for him, this update comes a big boost, as they are desperate to bring in quality additions to bolster their backline since the start of the month. One of Newcastle’s major issues has been their poor backline, and they have conceded no fewer than 42 goals in the Premier League so far this season, the second-worst in the division.

Signing someone of Badiashile’s quality and potential would be a significant coup for Newcastle. The French Under-21 international has been in impressive form since making his breakthrough at the Stade Louis II in 2019/20. Regarded as one of the best young prospects in Ligue 1, the 20-year-old has made 105 appearances for Monaco, including 20 in all competitions this season.

Standing at 6ft 4in, Badiashile has a dominant presence inside the box. He is an aggressive defender and likes to engage with opposition attackers, while his pace, strength, and anticipation give him the edge in defensive actions. The left-footed defender is also a valuable asset in possession and ranks among the top five per cent of centre-backs in Europe’s big five leagues for progressive passes and passes attempted per 90.

While he has no experience in England, Badiashile has been playing regularly at a high level in Ligue 1 and the UEFA Europa League despite his tender years. Apart from Newcastle, Premier League rivals Wolves and West Ham are also interested in landing the young defender. It remains to be seen whether Newcastle could pip their competition to land the highly-rated 20-year-old.

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