Newcastle are the latest club linked with Bayer Leverkusen prodigy Florian Wirtz, who only turned 18 in May but already has 12 combined goals and assists to his name this season.
Wirtz has effectively filled the shoes that Kai Havertz left behind at Leverkusen, becoming a first-team regular last season at the tender age of just 17. He has also been capped four times at senior international level by Germany and is on the final shortlist for the 2021 Golden Boy award.
Unsurprisingly given his talent and age, the teenager has already been the subject of rumoured interested from Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich. But Newcastle are also thought to have joined the race.
Newcastle’s recent takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is expected to see significant spending on all aspects of the club over the coming months and years.
Sport Bild writes that the Magpies are ‘hot’ for Wirtz and had a scout in attendance at last weekend’s Bundesliga clash between Leverkusen and Köln specifically to watch him.
Bayern are widely thought to be the leading contenders for the young German’s signature, although anyone trying to persuade him to leave Leverkusen within the next couple of years may have a tough challenge ahead of them.
It has already been claimed that informal talks have taken place between Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and Wirtz’s father, who also serves as his agent.
It has also been said that Wirtz is particularly interested in the idea of joining Bayern, although his father, Hans-Joachim, has insisted the intention for the time being is to remain at Leverkusen.
“Florian definitely wants to play a good role in Leverkusen for the next two years,” Wirtz Sr. said. “What comes next is not yet known. His focus now is only on Bayer and the national team.”