Cash-rich Premier League side Newcastle United have reportedly entered the race to sign Villarreal speedster Nicolas Jackson, who is also a target for Everton.

According to Football Insider, Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Everton are set to battle it out to sign Villarreal’s Senegalese winger Nicolas Jackson, who has a £29 million release clause in his contract with the Spanish outfit.

The 21-year-old attacker moved to the Yellow Submarines in 2020 and spent a year playing for the club’s ‘B’ team, before recently being promoted to the first team. He has only made a handful of appearances for Villarreal, but he is enjoying a breakout season in La Liga under former Arsenal manager Unai Emery.

This season, he has featured in all but one game for Villarreal’s senior side across all competitions, scoring one La Liga goal and registering an assist. His excellent performances have even earned him his first call-up to the most-recent Senegal squad, where he remained an unused substitute in both of Senegal’s friendlies but the inclusion speaks volumes of his progress.

He could even be included in Aliou Cisse’s 26-man squad for the upcoming winter World Cup should he continue his early-season form.

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Needless to say, he has already caught the attention of several English clubs, with Fulham, Southampton, and Everton among the teams linked to him last summer. Now, Newcastle United have also jumped on the bandwagon of potential suitors interested in his services.

Newcastle United’s search for a versatile and productive winger was well-documented last summer. Leeds United’s Jack Harrison, Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, among others, have all been linked with a move to St James’ Park, but none of them transpired.

While Jackson does not yet have the numbers to back up his final-third effectiveness, he is a young, promising talent with a lot of untapped potential for Eddie Howe to nurture, and he could be a big asset for the Toon going forward as the Magpies hierarchy aims to build a young, vibrant, and hungry team capable of competing with the best.

As for Everton, Richarlison’s summer departure to Tottenham has certainly left the Blues devoid of attacking options, especially with Dominic Calvert-Lewin out injured. The Toffees have been scouting Jackson for a while now and could now ramp up their potential pursuit after seeing the impact he made in his breakthrough season.

He is primarily a right-winger but is versatile enough to play anywhere across the frontline or as a second striker. He is good at dribbling, and passing, and likes to carry the ball to create danger, chances, and open spaces for his teammates to exploit.

Given Newcastle’s financial clout and ambitious project, Everton will struggle to beat Newcastle for Jackson but could offer more playing time.

The report also adds that while Villarreal are desperate to retain their prized asset, with the player’s current deal at Estadio de la Ceramica expiring in 2023, they may well be forced to sanction a sale for a lot less than their £29 million buyout clause, handing a big boost to the 21-year-old’s Premier League suitors.

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