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Newcastle United hold discussions over a 16-goal striker following Leeds United cameo.



Newcastle United are allegedly in talks to sign Middlesbrough striker Ajay Matthews.
The 18-year-old scored 16 goals in 17 starts for Boro’s academy last season and made his senior debut as a late substitute in a 4-3 loss to Leeds United in April.

Following the game, Boro head coach Michael Carrick said: “It was terrific to bring Ajay on – giving young players opportunities is what this club is all about and what we like doing as a coaching team. Obviously, we’d like to maintain a lid on it.

“It’s always rewarding for me to be able to give young players a chance, and we felt he earned one tonight. He’s a goal scorer, and he’s shown that this season. At this point in the season and during the game, it was a bit of a gamble. He had a tiny sniff and almost got one after we got one back.”

Five days later, Matthews appeared in his second match, a 4-1 victory over Cardiff City. He played for England’s under-18 team at the end of May.

According to The Secret Scout, Newcastle, Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford, Celtic, and Rangers have held talks and are interested in signing Matthews.

However, luring him away from Teesside is not an easy process. Matthews was born and raised in Middlesbrough, as was his father and agent, Lee Matthews, who played three Premier League games for Leeds United.

Newcastle intends to considerably strengthen their academy this summer, having already acquired 16-year-old Aaron Epia from Everton and 14-year-old midfielder CJ Afumuzor from Pompey.

This week, up to 13 academy players, including Amadou Diallo, Michael Ndiweni, Will Brown, Jude Smith, Jordan Hackett, Matthew Bondswell, Lucas De Bolle, Kyle Crossley, Dylan Stephenson, Shaun Mavididi, Taylor Ross, and Carter Milmore, will see their contracts expire.

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