Newcastle transfer officials can take advantage of complicated issue on £12.5m move

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Newcastle transfer chiefs could take advantage of a complicated issue in Jean-Philippe Mateta’s £12.5m move to Saint-Etienne. The Toon are understood to be looking for a new striker this month, and Eddie Howe is keen not to go to overboard with spending.

Newcastle appear to have possibly been given a window of opportunity to land Mainz striker Mateta, who is currently on loan at Crystal Palace, this month.

The ex-French youth international has only scored one Premier League goal in five appearances for Palace, having spent most of the season out of the side.

But it appears Mateta is still a wanted man, with a number of clubs interested in signing him this summer.

Palace have an option to sign him for £12.5million at the end of his loan, but that looks unlikely given his form in south London.

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A return to France with Saint-Etienne looks to be his most likely move, RMC Sport are reportedly.

It’s claimed that Mateta has an agreement with the Ligue 1 club, but Palace’s purchase option has complicated a deal.

Mainz are keen for Palace to take the forward on a permanent deal or lift the agreement so they can sell him to other interested parties, with Newcastle and Swiss outfit FC Basel keeping tabs.

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Basel are only interested in taking him on loan again, while it is unclear whether Eddie Howe is looking to make the move permanent, most likely for a similar amount as Palace’s purchase option.

Mateta has come back into the fold with recent goals against Norwich in the league and Millwall in the FA Cup.

And a run of form could see Palace make a u-turn on their stance to make Mateta’s move permanent.

But for now, Newcastle will have to be patient, and hope that a window of opportunity opens so that they can swoop in.

Newcastle are also keen to sign at least one centre-back this month, and Howe was hit with a double blow on Monday in his pursuit to sure up his back line.

Samuel Umtiti was on the Toon’s radar but he signed a contract extension at Barcelona, all but ending any chance that he will be on the move in the near future.

Meanwhile, The Athletic, claim that Lille intend to keep hold of Sven Botman until at least the summer.

The 21-year-old, who is deemed to be one of the most promising defensive prospects in Europe, had been the subject of fierce speculation.

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