By Sean Fisher

27th Sep, 2022 | 2:14pm

Newcastle United 'close to finalising' deal for Australian wonderkid Garang Kuol - Keith Downie

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a deal for 18-year-old Central Coast Mariners striker Garang Kuol, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

Kuol caught the eye of the Magpies last season in the A-League, and he was called up to the Australia national team this week and made his debut on Sunday against New Zealand.

With their new-found wealth, Newcastle are making it a priority to scout the globe’s most exciting prospects, and they clearly believe they’ve struck gold with Kuol.

Sky Sports reporter Downie believes it’s only a matter of time until Newcastle agree a deal for Kuol’s signature, with the youngster potentially joining Eddie Howe’s side in January.

“Newcastle are close to finalising a deal to sign Garang Kuol from Central Coast Mariners,” read Downie’s Twitter post.

“The forward made his Australia debut last week, aged 18. Newcastle are exploring ways of overcoming any work permit issues – including a potential loan to a European club if they can get a deal done.”

Smart strategy

Newcastle’s takeover last season means the Magpies could easily go and splash the cash on ready-made superstars if they liked.

But it’s not exactly a method that has worked out well for many teams. Instead, the Tyneside club have decided to invest heavily in their academy, youth facilities and scouting network.

It’s a much more thought-out, long-term plan if Newcastle truly want to make themselves a sustainable threat to the ‘Big Six’.

Think about Manchester City’s takeover over a decade ago. The Cityzens initially splashed the cash on big stars, but then reeled themselves back in and had more success when signing some extremely promising youngsters – Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany to name a few.

Newcastle have gone down a similar route, and are willing to go toe-to-toe with any European club that crosses them. Borussia Dortmund – another club famed for their young stars – are reportedly also interested in Kuol.

However, it’s Newcastle that have sealed his signature first, and it’s a deal they could look back on very fondly in the future.

In other Newcastle United news, Elliot Anderson signs new deal keeping him at St James Park