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Newcastle to sign £16m-rated ace, Southampton eye £5m Celtic transfer, Fulham bid rejected

Bournemouth contract rebel Ryan Fraser is moving closer to joining Newcastle on a free transfer. The Scottish international winger, 26, refused to sign an extension to his contract at the south coast club last season.

He therefore did not play for the Cherries after football’s restart and was badly missed as the club were relegated to the Championship.

Crystal Palace and West Ham were both interested in former Aberdeen forward Fraser, but it looks like Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has won the race for a player rated at around £16million.

Fraser scored 16 goals and provided 29 assists for the Cherries in his 120 league games over the last four years.

Newcastle are also interested in Bournemouth’s England striker Callum Wilson and have offered ex-Cherries midfielder Matt Ritchie in part-exchange.

But Wilson’s £75,000-a-week wage demands are proving a stumbling block to the deal going through – and Aston Villa are also interested.

Elsewhere, Fulham have had an opening bid for Lyon’s former Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore rejected.

The 24-year-old still has two years left on his contract with the Ligue 1 club, and they are prepared to sell, but only at a price of around £22m.

Fulham offered around £8m for the former Stamford Bridge starlet – and are expected to improve their offer in the next few days, but could now be put off by the high price.

Traore, who is also being chased by Brighton, Everton, Crystal Palace, Leicester and Newcastle, has scored 33 goals in 126 games and provided 17 assists since joining Lyon three years ago.

The Burkino Faso international made 16 appearances in three years at Chelsea, where he had loan spells at Vitesse Arnhem and Ajax before leaving for French football.

Chelsea reportedly have first option on Traore should Lyon decide to sell, and would be entitled to 15 per cent of his sell on fee.

Cottagers manager Scott Parker, who signed a new three-year contract on Wednesday, has already signed Harrison Reed and Mario Lemina from Southampton, as well as Wigan youngster Antonee Robinson this summer.

Southampton have meanwhile not given up on the chase for Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham.

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has been eyeing the French midfielder as a possible replacement for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who has joined Tottenham, and Mario Lemina, who has left for Fulham.

Both Porto and and Lyon are also watching the 24-year-old, but neither have yet made a firm bid.

Saints, who are also looking at Celtic’s Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer, still want Ntcham if they can get him – with the Scottish champions looking for around £5m for the former Manchester City midfielder.

Hasenhuttl had been hoping to bring Schalke’s Weston McKennie to the Premier League, but he joined Juventus on loan this week, so his attention has switched back to Ntcham.

Since signing from City, where he never made a senior appearance, in 2017, Ntcham has scored 23 goals in 123 appearances in all competitions for Celtic.

He has played in all of the Hoops’ four Scottish Premiership matches this season, starting both of the last two.



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