Newcastle United have reportedly decided to end their pursuit of Moussa Diaby due to the French international’s £60 million price tag and their budget constraints.

According to Daily Telegraph, Newcastle have ceased their interest in Moussa Diaby, with the French international’s hefty £60 million price tag proving too much for the Magpies, who may now have to go back to the drawing board and realign their radars to find other feasible alternatives.

Following their takeover in 2021, the Magpies have tried to acquire top talent, so they can compete with Premier League elites in the coming season. Newcastle have had some success in signing Bruno Guimaraes and Kieran Trippier in January and luring Sven Botman to Tyneside earlier this summer.

However, they have suffered defeats in several pursuits aside from that, particularly as they attempt to improve their front line. A deal for Reims striker Hugo Ekitike fell through, and the Magpies are now pulling out of negotiations for Moussa Diaby after failing to find an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen over transfer fee.

The report adds that Newcastle were seeking to make a breakthrough on deals for Diaby or Alexander Isak this week, but a lack of movement has left the Toon chiefs’ confidence ‘drained’. The Magpies are willing to pay about £40 million for the youngster, making him their record acquisition. However, it is almost £20 million less than Bayer Leveruksen’s asking price.

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Even if Newcastle do find a middle ground with the Bundesliga giants, there are also added complications. Leverkusen want the entire £60 million asking price to be paid upfront, whereas Newcastle want to pay instalments to spread their budget to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

Also, the player is unlikely to force through a move away from BayArena right now because he wants UEFA Champions League football next season to make an impression ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, it is supposed that the Frenchman would demand wages in excess of £110,000 per week, which would blow Newcastle’s current wage structure.

Diaby, who is one of the best up-and-coming players in the Bundesliga, was a big part of Leverkusen’s success last term. In 42 games across all competitions, the French winger netted 17 goals and set up 14 others, highlighting the attacking threat on offer. This caught the attention of ambitious clubs like Newcastle United and former club, Paris Saint-Germain.

The Bayer Leverkusen attacker has long been a priority target for Newcastle. The Toon hierarchy does not want to give up on the French international without a fight, with the club likely to make a final push for the youngster in the upcoming weeks. But their chances of signing the 23-year-old are bleak.

After spending heavily in January, it is easy to see why Newcastle are hesitant to spend big on a single player, despite their much-improved financial circumstances. They are leaving no stone unturned in their search for a winger and have identified Leeds United’s Jack Harrison as a low-cost alternative. Newcastle are weighing up a £20 million bid, so it will be interesting to watch how this one unfolds in the coming week.

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