Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Newcastle United have held discussions with Nantes winger Moses Simon in recent weeks but the Nigeria winger is now more likely to end up at Premier League rivals Brighton and Hove Albion instead, as reported by But Football Club. 

Then again, don’t be surprised if Newcastle return to the table. 

After holding talks with Simon in recent times, the nouveau-riche Magpies turned their attention to Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby. The colossal price-tag on the Frenchman’s head, however, means Newcastle may have no choice but to move on to other targets, and perhaps back to previous ones.

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They may have Saudi Arabian billionaires bankrolling things behind the scenes but that does not mean money is no object at St James’ Park. Per The Telegraph, Newcastle’s summer budget is likely to be less than £90 million.

Diaby, if he was to arrive, would probably account for over 50 per cent of that. 

Newcastle and Brighton have held Moses Simon talks

Simon, in contrast, can be snapped up for a bargain fee of around £10 million. And while the one-time Liverpool target is not quite as explosive or exciting as Diaby, he still produced eight goals and six assists for Coupe de France winners Nantes during a career-best 2021/22 campaign, while destroying Paris Saint-Germain in a famous 3-1 win for the Canaries.  

Photo by DANIEL BELOUMOU OLOMO/AFP via Getty Images

But Football Club say that Newcastle have held talks with Simon ‘in recent weeks’. But, after setting their sights on Diaby, Brighton have overtaken them into pole position. The report adds that the Seagulls, who have a sizeable wad of cash burning a hole in their back pockets following Yves Bissouma’s switch to Tottenham Hotspur, are willing to meet Nantes’ asking price. 

Own Goal Nigeria back up these claims, adding that Brighton are currently the ‘frontrunners’. 

Interestingly, Simon admitted back in January that Leeds United ‘came calling’. But the Whites, like Newcastle, appear to be looking elsewhere for the time being. Hakim Ziyech, Charles de Ketelaere and Cody Gakpo are all potential Raphinha replacements at Elland Road. 

Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

In other news, 28-year-old now offered to Chelsea after claims Tottenham would pay £14.5m