Newcastle are reportedly monitoring Lyon star Samuel Umtiti.
Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Watford was a particularly low point for new manager Steve McClaren, and even after signing Chancel Mbemba, Florian Thauvin, Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic, it's clear that Newcastle still need more new signings.
Now, The Mirror report that Newcastle scout Graham Carr watched Lyon in action on Wednesday against Gent in the Champions League, and whilst striker Alexandre Lacazette was the main focus, defender Samuel Umtiti has also being evaluated by the Magpies.
The 21-year-old centre back, who can also play at left back, has come up through the ranks at Lyon, and formed part of a predominantly home-grown Lyon side under Hubert Fournier last season, alongside the likes of Anthony Lopes, Maxime Gonalons, Jordan Ferri, Corentin Tolisso, Nabil Fekir and the aforementioned Lacazette.
However, his performances for the Ligue 1 outfit appear to have attracted interest, with Newcastle scouting him ahead of a possible pursuit - though the report states that Umtiti has already made a decision over his future, and he doesn't want to leave Lyon until next summer at the earliest, ruling out a January deal.
Newcastle certainly need some youth and athleticism in defence, with Fabricio Coloccini still struggling this season alongside Chancel Mbemba.
However, whilst Mbemba and Umtiti would be a pairing full of pace and strength, neither are over six foot tall, making them somewhat similar in stature - and bigger centre forwards may see that as an opportunity to attack Newcastle in the air.
Of course, it seems that Umtiti would only consider a transfer next summer, but Carr's scouting mission suggests that Newcastle are in the market for another defender - and whilst Umtiti is extremely talented, there may be doubts over a potential partnership with Mbemba at Newcastle.