According to a report from The Northern Echo, Newcastle United will have to break their transfer record if they are to sign Alassane Plea this summer. The 25-year-old has been in fine form for French side Nice in the last few years to attract much interest from clubs in the Premier League, but with the Magpies faced with finally breaking their transfer record to land the striker, owner Mike Ashley may finally start winning Newcastle fans over if he sanctions the deal.
Ultimately, it has been 13 long years since the North East giants broke their transfer record, what with the club spending £16 million to bring striker Michael Owen to St James’ Park after his one season spell at Real Madrid back in 2005.
And in an era of inflated prices and mad figures being banded about, it is quite remarkable that Newcastle have not since exceeded £16 million on a player, much to the displeasure of Magpies fans up and down the country.
Unsurprisingly, it’s owner Ashley that has quite rightly been on the receiving end of such criticism, but he could go some way to appeasing those Newcastle supporters by stumping up the £27 million for Nice’s Plea.
The former France youth international has enjoyed a fine two years in front of goal in netting 21 times in 49 appearances for the Ligue 1 side last season, which added to the 16 he scored the campaign before in their run to third place in the French top-flight.
Thus, the 25-year-old could finally provide manager Rafa Benitez with the striker he so desperately needs to take Newcastle forward and potentially back to their former glories, and while £27 million may seem steep for someone who has never played in England before, that is the going-rate for a player who has scored goals in one of Europe’s top leagues.
What do you think of the World Cup so far? Let us know
Ultimately, while the Magpies deserve great credit for finishing tenth in the Premier League last term, it’s clear from their limitations that reinforcements are seriously needed this summer, not least in the attacking third of the pitch.
And although owner Ashley has not delighted Newcastle supporters down the years, were he to smash the club’s transfer record for £16.2 million-rated Plea (as per Transfermarkt), it might go some way to finally winning over the St James’ faithful.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!