Champions League chasing Newcastle United are reportedly looking to ramp up their pursuit of OGC Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram in an effort to beat Chelsea to the 22-year-old’s signature.

Newcastle United are keen on bringing Khephren Thuram to St. James’ Park when the summer transfer window opens. But they will have to move quickly if they want to win the transfer race. That is according to journalist Rudy Galetti (via GIVEMESPORT), who says the Magpies are looking to ‘speed things up’ in their pursuit of the Frenchman.

Speaking to GMS, journalist Galetti said, “Khéphren Thuram is a midfielder who has enjoyed very good performances with Nice this season and is attracting the attention of many clubs, including Chelsea, PSG, and at the moment above all Newcastle.

“To beat the fierce competition the Magpies want to speed things up, especially relating to the high possibility of qualification for the next Champions League where they want to arrive with a very competitive squad.”

Thuram has enjoyed an excellent season and, as a result, seen his stock rise as one of Europe’s most highly coveted young defensive midfielders. Although the Frenchman’s contract with Nice will not expire until 2025, the former AS Monaco youth academy star is expected to leave this summer.

As such, Chelsea are in talks over a possible move for the 22-year-old to Stamford Bridge. A right-footed box-to-box operator blessed with dribbling and tackling, Thuram is capable of playing as a central midfielder as well as a defensive midfielder.

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Chelsea are set to oversee a mass exodus of out-of-contract midfielders and also ones that aren’t part of the club’s long-term plans this summer. As a result, they would need fresh additions to beef up the midfield department. And Thuram is on the Blues’ midfield shortlist alongside names such as Romeo Lavia, Manu Kone, and Adrien Rabiot.

However, they are not the only Premier League club eyeing the French international’s services. It has been previously reported that Newcastle were the front-runners in the race. But interest in the 22-year-old from other suitors is growing ahead of the transfer window opening.

Newcastle’s head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, is said to be a huge fan of Thuram and is interested in ensuring the Magpies bring in the £52 million-rated central midfielder. Apart from shielding the backline, he also has a knack for chipping in with goals and assists.

He has the attributes to develop into a complete midfielder over the coming seasons and would slot in perfectly in the number six role Eddie Howe’s side are looking for to provide competition to Brazilian maestro Bruno Guimaraes.

Newcastle are in pole position to achieve a top-four finish this season, although they need two wins from their remaining three games to guarantee that. And if they do so, it is widely expected that it would open up another level of spending at the club, something they could not justify if they only qualified for the Europa League.

Therefore, if the Magpies do secure Champions League football for next season, it will make the move for Thuram considerably easier. So it is clear to see why the player’s camp are biding their time before making a call. It will be interesting to see whether Newcastle can beat the stiff competition from Chelsea to land Thuram. But a lot could hinge on which competition they will be featuring in next season.

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