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Newcastle in for French youngsters Ba and Umtiti

990   //    28 Mar 2013, 15:56 IST

Having incessantly raided the French market, Newcastle United are now looking to again hire from the Gallic fete, only this time it is for two of the very bright youngsters; El – Hadji Ba and Samuel Umtiti.

20-year-old Hadji Ba, a right-footed defensive midfielder of Senegalese descent, currently plays for Ligue 2 team Le Havre. So far he has represented the club 13 times and scored 1 goal. He has also represented France at youth levels having been a regular at French under – 18, 19 and 20 levels.

Lyon's French defender Samuel Umtiti controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League football match Olympique Lyonnais Vs Tottenham Hotspur on Febuary 21, 2013 at the Gerland stadium in Lyon, eastern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE MERLE        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE MERLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Lyon’s French defender Samuel Umtiti controls the ball during the Europa League match against Tottenham Hotspur on Febuary 21, 2013 at the Gerland stadium in Lyon, France. (Getty Images)

Newcastle United are not the only side in for Hadji Ba. Sunderland and Wigan Athletic are to be keen admirers too. It was widely reported that Hadji Ba had agreed to join Tottenham Hotspur prior to making his Ligue 2 debut.

This is what Hadji Ba said about a prospective move across the channel:

“I want to improve, and it is very good to hear that clubs have been scouting me.

“I would love to play in England one day. If teams have a good enough offer, then they (Le Havre) will let me go.”

Samuel Umtiti, 19, on the other hand is a centre-back, who can also play as a left-back and currently represents French giants Olympique Lyonnais. He has represented the club 34 times domestically and 6 times in Europe. He too has been a regular for France at youth level football. He is best remembered for the screamer he scored against Spurs at White Hart Lane in the 1st leg of Europa league’s round of 32 knockout clash.

Reports suggest that Newcastle United have sent their chief scout Graham carr to watch him in action for French under – 20s against their Danish counterparts.

Newcastle recently released 4 of their best youngsters in JJ Hooper, Dennis Knight, Michael Riley and Marcus Maddison and may release few more come summer time so the there is plenty of space available for anyone entering through the door at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle over the last couple of years have also been trying to upgrade their academy and have been striving for category 1 which so far has not been fruitful. With the likes of Hadji-Ba and Umtiti that claim may be strengthened and may even help Newcastle getting into NextGen Series.

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A huge Newcastle United fan, Love all sports and a bit of an idealist. Economist by degree.
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