It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Newcastle right now, to say the least. Their mega-million takeover of a Saudi-led consortium has opened the door to a new dawn for them, and the prospect of them splurging is likely.
Interestingly, the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Philippe Coutinho and Timo Werner have already been linked to the project, even though it has barely peaked yet. Expectations will be lower than those of the board members, at least for now.
However, that does not mean that the club cannot attract some of the best players from around the world. Newcastle is already a rich footballing institution and, with their newfound riches, even the prospect of a relegation dogfight may not put them off.
Newcastle has been linked to a movement for the Porto Luis Díaz strike, in a deal worth £ 80 million
One of the big names associated with the move to St James ‘Park is Porto striker Luis Díaz, who has reportedly been singled out as one of the owners’ first targets. According to SPORT TV, Newcastle can spend almost £ 70 million for it.
The fee would trigger the release clause in his contract and, provided Diaz agrees to the change himself, the ace would help provide much-needed firepower as the team seeks to avoid falling into the Championship later this season.
But who is he and why are other elite teams watching him as well? Here, Sportsmail answers all the burning questions fans may have …
The new club owners (above) are expected to spend a lot, but who is their ultimate goal?
WHO IS HE?
Luis Díaz is a versatile forward who plays for Porto and Colombia. Predominantly a left winger, Diaz has also been fielded by the middle to great effect.
With seven goals in just 11 games for his club this season, it’s no wonder Newcastle have identified him as the man who can bring their campaign to life.
He is also experienced in the Champions League, scoring the winning goal against AC Milan in the middle of the week with a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Díaz scored four goals in this year’s Copa América and shared the top scorer award alongside Argentine talisman Lionel Messi.
After starting his career with Atlético Junior, Díaz was sent to the Barranquilla FC feeder team, and was quickly promoted to the senior team in Junior.
There, the leader became a regular starter in 2018, drawing Porto’s attention.
The following year, he signed a five-year contract and fellow countrymen Radamel Falcao and James Rodríguez convinced him to join the club.
In all, Diaz has scored 32 goals in 108 total appearances for his current club.
Diaz is a versatile forward, capable of sliding in from his preferred spot on the left.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?
A soft left trader, Diaz’s ideal position is widely believed to be wide. For his country, he has flourished in both a 4-4-2 and 4-4-1-1 formation.
His preferred spot allows him to catch the ball before playing it short, long or round the corner, and also drive towards the goal with a sharp turn of pace.
After that, his right foot, his strongest side, allows him to deliver a series of powerful punches to put goalies to the test, all while moving along the edge of the area.
With a good physical presence and good touch, Diaz would be crucial in helping Newcastle rebuild attacks, far removed from the disassociated nature under Bruce.
Another key facet of his game is unpredictability. Rarely one to hug the touchline, Diaz is adept at playing inside, to his right once again, to remove his markers.
This will either open up space for your teammates or give you the time and space to glimpse the goal. From there, he makes the rest look simple.
He is also reliable on the ball. His style of play thrives on taking risks, but Diaz is also known for playing the single pass and helping his team retain possession.
With good physical presence and sharp touch, Díaz would be lethal in the Newcastle team
WHAT HAVE PEOPLE SAID ABOUT HIM?
After inspiring Porto to win the Champions League against AC Milan, Díaz received praise from his teammate Sergio Oliveira.
“I don’t have to answer, we know his qualities, apart from the human level, he is also extraordinary at a technical level,” Oliveira said after the game.
“The best for him will also be the best for us as a team.”
Another figure in the game who has become lyrical about Newcastle’s rumored goal is Oscar Tabárez, the respected Uruguay coach.
“The Colombian team has players of good quality and experience, like Juan Cuadrado,” Tabárez began, before turning his attention to Díaz.
But recently, Luis Díaz, the son of FC Porto, who was not on the elite’s radar and who started after the great Copa América [is a player of quality].
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, while away with Brazil, also praised Diaz.
“Luis Díaz is an excellent player, he does a lot of work for the defense, he did it in the goals of the Copa América,” he said.
“He comes to Porto with good performances, and here our task is to see Colombia as a whole and worry about how to destroy it.”
Diaz, pictured against Liverpool this season, has been praised by countless sports figures.
DO YOU HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL PEDIGREE?
Díaz took his first steps on the international stage with Colombia at the U-20 level, having participated in the 2017 South American U-20 Championship.
His reward was a call-up to the senior team in August 2018 before the friendlies against Venezuela and Argentina. Soon after, his full debut came.
Brought in as a substitute in the 0-0 draw against Argentina, Díaz replaced Juan Cuadrado and, despite not scoring, began to attract attention.
In March 2019, Díaz scored his first international goal, which came in a friendly loss to South America. He was also named to the Copa América squad.
Two years later, Díaz played for his country in the same competition.
He scored the only goal in Colombia’s semi-final clash against Argentina, but could not prevent his team from crashing on penalties.
Diaz scored twice, including the winner, in the tiebreaker for third place against Peru, sealing his place alongside Messi as the best joint shooter.
After making his senior international bow in 2018, Díaz has often played for Colombia.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES OF A MOVE?
It is quite possible that this transfer will come down to finances, and Newcastle will no longer have to skimp and save the pennies for that after Mike Ashley left the club.
While there is of course a limit to ensuring they adhere to the Financial Fair Play Rules, they have the resources to make this happen, and Diaz would be a brilliant signing.
As described above, he is flexible, hardworking, and capable of creating magic just when his side needs it, which would prove crucial in the fight to avoid the fall.
Porto is still one of the biggest and most important clubs in the world, however, and considering how he has excelled there, Diaz may decide to stay.
Newcastle would have to sell their importance to them in any future conversation and also outline their ambitions to win the best trophies for many years to come.
Then, and only then, Diaz would likely consider heading to St James’ Park and becoming the first piece of what is fast becoming a thrilling puzzle.
Either way, the fact that the club is looking at players of the same caliber as Diaz is a promising indication of the level of success the new board is aiming for.
Newcastle’s potential attack for Diaz may largely depend on the club’s exciting and ambitious project.