Newcastle United are closing in on the signing of highly-rated winger Yankuba Minteh from Odense Boldklub.
Odense have confirmed that the Danish outfit have been in 'close negotiations' with an unnamed foreign club, which is understood to be Newcastle, about the 18-year-old for a 'long time'. Those talks are now so advanced that Minteh will be left out of Odense's squad when De Stribede face FC Midtjylland on Saturday as Bjorn Wesstrom, the club's director of football, revealed.
"It is a difficult decision, but with the risks and opportunities in this case, I have concluded that it is overall the best decision for OB that he sit out the match against FC Midtjylland," he said.
If the mooted £5.8m deal goes through, Minteh would almost certainly be loaned out this summer. Even Minteh's agent, Bakary Bojang, previously admitted that his client 'did not have enough points to play in the Premier League right away' following the new GBE regulations introduced after Brexit.
Minteh only joined OB from Steve Biko in his native Gambia a year ago, but the rapid youngster quickly made an impact in the Danish Superliga. In fact, Minteh scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Copenhagen just minutes after entering the field as a substitute on his debut.
Newcastle took note and the club's recruitment team have long tracked Minteh at a time when the Magpies are not only targeting first-team ready players but, also, emerging talent. Sporting director Dan Ashworth outlined this strategy earlier this year.
"The second part of the club's strategy is looking at more emerging talent and younger players that sit outside of the 25-man squad," he told Sky Sports.
"Once again, if the right player comes along...we've just signed Garang Kuol, for example, who is an 18-year-old, so we're always looking for those sorts of players as well to add to our depth of talent that we have at the club.”