It is rumoured that Newcastle tried, and failed, in an attempt to sign 20-year-old Lille defensive midfielder Boubakary Soumaré towards the end of the January transfer window.
The speculation, which was reported by Le10sport (in French), has not gone away, and the player — who Rafa Benitez would see as a perfect long-term replacement for Mo Diame — is now attracting interest from some of Europe’s big-hitters, including Spurs and Juventus, according to the Daily Star (via Foot Mercato [in French]).
If Newcastle’s interest was serious, they may well regret not making sure of securing the Frenchman’s services, with news of rival interest likely to see a bidding war break out, and his future lie away from St James’ Park.
The article does stress that the Magpies retain an interest in the player, likened to French compatriot Paul Pogba, but we think it is unlikely to happen, given Lille’s valuation of more than £22 million, and the final fee likely to be higher due to the amount of clubs vying for him.
But it was made known last week that owner, Mike Ashley, is set to sanction at least one big money deal in the summer, should Rafa commit his future to the club, so the door is not completely closed.
But it would remain to be seen if central midfield would be the area the Spaniard looked to spend the vast amount of any budget on, considering the possible need for a striker to replace Rondón should they decide against signing the Venezuelan permanently, as has been reported this weekend.
Although it is nice for Newcastle fans to see their club linked with some of the top prospects in Europe, until speculation turns into players signing on the dotted line, cynicism will always surround the rumours.
Gone are the days where world record fees and star names were pulling on the black and white stripes on a regular basis, and in the current climate, supporters would be happy with Rafa signing and being given the tools to build a squad of good, if not great, players resulting in them not having to suffer through yet another nail-biting relegation scrap next season.
What are your thoughts on a potential marquee signing for Newcastle this summer? Would Soumaré fit the bill for you Newcastle fans? Let us know below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!