Newcastle United are now leading the race for Galatasaray star Nicolo Zaniolo, who is open to a move to St. James’ Park this summer, according to a recent report from Turkish Football.

Who are Newcastle signing this summer?

The Magpies remain keen on strengthening a number of key positions this summer, with Fabian Schar’s pre-season injury causing them to turn their attentions to a new centre-back, having already held talks over Joachim Andersen.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano said: “Let’s see what happens with the centre-backs I think as an extra deal. They always had conversations with [Axel] Disasi but then he joined Chelsea, also they spoke multiple times with the agents of Joachim Andersen who is a player they have appreciated for a long time.”

With Eddie Howe keen to improve the spine of his team, Sky Sports reporter Melissa Reddy has claimed that a bid could still be lodged for Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, but the Red Devils are keen to hold out for £45m.

In terms of wide options, journalist Alan Nixon has now reported that Newcastle could make a move for Estudiantes de la Plata winger Benjamin Rollheiser, who would be keen on a move to St. James’ Park this summer.

Read The Latest Newcastle Transfer News HERE

Another attacking option for the Magpies is Zaniolo, with the Magpies now leading the race for his signature after recent talks, according to a report from Turkish Football.

The Italian, who has a £30m release clause included in his contract, has received an offer from an unnamed club in Saudi Arabia, but he would prefer to stay in Europe, and he is open to a move to St. James’ Park.

There are other potential suitors, with Juventus trying to lower the Turkish club’s asking price, but they have no intention of letting him leave for below his release clause, leaving Newcastle as the only club still interested who are able to match Galatasaray’s valuation.

The report describes the 24-year-old as a “highly rated, talented player”, so he could be a major coup for the Magpies.

How good is Nicolo Zaniolo?
Lauded as “sensational” by members of the media, the Italy international has looked very impressive since joining Galatasaray last season, netting five goals in ten Turkish Super Lig games to help them secure the league title.

Although former manager Jose Mourinho froze out the attacking midfielder prior to his departure from AS Roma, he was full of praise for his performance against Sampdoria less than a year ago, saying:

“I knew that Zaniolo was going to be devastating in the last 20-30 minutes, he just missed the goal tonight which would have been the cherry on top of a great performance.

“I was delighted with Zaniolo tonight. Physically he was devastating and difficult for Samp to stop. Nicolò is always tough to handle for the opponent.

That said, the former Roma man has underperformed on some key metrics over the past year, averaging just 0.16 non-penalty goals per 90, despite his expected total standing at 0.37, meaning he has scored less than half the amount he should have based on the quality of his chances.

At 24-years-old, Zaniolo is at a good age to be a long-term success at Newcastle, and £30.1m could end up being a fair fee, but he will need to become more clinical if he is to be a consistent first-team player.