Newcastle United have reportedly made a £3 million bid for Nottingham Forest youngster Jamaal Lascelles, who has been linked with both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Daily Mail claims there are two signs, which signal a move to the North East as imminent for the 20-year-old defender.
“The 20-year-old was left out of Nottingham Forest's friendly with West Brom at the weekend and is keen on a move to the North East rather than a switch to London,” writes Simon Jones.
The fact he was left out of the club’s friendly game against West Brom could be a sign that Forest have already accepted that he’s likely to leave ahead of the new season.
Therefore, there’s little point in Forest planning a defensive system around a player who is not going to be featuring in their back four.
The geographical point is a little more difficult to understand considering the upheaval of a move from Nottingham to Newcastle is not geographically easy.
The appeal of the city, especially for younger players, is huge but Lascelles seems to prefer the North East.
His motive could be playing time and in both cases with Arsenal and Spurs, it’s difficult to see where he’d feature in the first team of either North London club.
Arsenal have a first choice duo of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny while Spurs have very good central defenders in the firm of Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen, with Dutch star Ron Vlaar also linked with a move to Spurs.
He could believe that Newcastle is better for his development and Alan Pardew’s club certainly have the size and the stature to help him become a better central defender.
The trick now for Newcastle is to ensure that no rivals can outbid them before they get a deal done for Lascelles, because Arsenal and Spurs may fancy a bid if it’s around the £3 million mark, backing themselves to talk Lascelles round on his reported preferences.