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Barcelona Transfer News: Blaugrana eye surprise move for Newcastle starlet Yankuba Minteh

Willem Leijgraf
Barcelona head coach Xavi
© ProShots

Barcelona were scouting Yankuba Minteh, who is on loan from Newcastle United at Feyenoord, at the Africa Cup of Nations, according to Spanish media.

The 19-year-old attacker was in action with The Gambia at the continent’s biggest tournament, but could not help his side progress from the group stage. Despite this, Minteh has appeared on the radar of Barcelona, who have put several African players on their wish list.

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During the African Cup, Minteh featured in every match in the group stage for his country and twice received the confidence of national coach Tom Saintfiet in the starting line-up. However, the speedy dribbler could not prevent Gambia from successively losing all group matches to Senegal (3-0), Guinea (1-0) and Cameroon (2-3).

Minteh was also not involved in a Gambian goal in any of these matches. Despite Gambia’s early elimination and the fact that Minteh failed to put his name on the scoreboard, the attacker has appeared on Barcelona’s radar, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Minteh impressing

“He excels so much at Feyenoord that he is followed by several Premier League clubs,” the Spanish sports newspaper writes about Minteh, who is also praised for his performance during the Champions League away match against Atlético Madrid (3-2 Feyenoord loss).

In addition to Barcelona’s interest, there were also rumours in England about a premature return to Newcastle United. To achieve this, however, the Magpies would need to sit down and negotiate with Feyenoord, who absolutely do not want to lose Minteh.

Last summer, Minteh swapped Danish side Odense BK for Newcastle United for €8 million. He signed a contract until 2028 and was then immediately placed on loan at Feyenoord, where he gained confidence in the starting line-up several times under Arne Slot.

He has made eighteen appearances in the past six months, scoring four goals and notching two assists. Minteh missed five games due to a hamstring injury and also had to miss Feyenoord’s last three matches due to commitments with Gambia in the Africa Cup. He currently boasts an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €11.3m.

Yankuba Minteh
© ProShots – Yankuba Minteh

Feyenoord’s loss

The loss of Minteh was a hard blow for Slot and Feyenoord and the Rotterdam team also repeatedly expressed the wish to bring in an attacking reinforcement this winter. General director Dennis te Kloese has not yet been able to achieve this, however.

Due to Gambia’s elimination from the Africa Cup, Slot will have Minteh available again and there is a good chance that he will be back in the match squad for Sunday’s match against FC Twente.

Additionally, 1908.nl reported on Saturday that Feyenoord have made an offer of €5m to Liverpool Montevideo for Luciano Rodríguez.

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