Newcastle United fans have been reasonably buoyant in the Transfer Tavern during the international break following their side’s decent start to the season.
Rafa Benitez’s men have won three of their opening seven Premier League games to sit ninth in the table, with their recent 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool another indication of their immense progress under the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss.
They’ll go in search of another three points when they travel to Southampton on Sunday, yet many of our resident Magpies supporters may be intrigued by a recent report from Radio Kiss Kiss (via Il Napoli Online), which includes quotes from the agent of Maxime Gonalons, a reported target of the North East giants over the summer.
The 28-year-old midfielder currently plays his trade at Roma and has done so since the summer, having made the move from French side Lyon after a long association with the Ligue 1 side, spanning almost two decades.
The France international played 337 games for Lyon and scored 13 goals in that time for the club, helping them to the Coupe de France crown back in 2012, but during the summer signed a four-year deal at Serie A outfit Roma.
However, he could well have ended up at Newcastle, according to Gonalons’ agent Frederic Guerra, who was recently quoted on Radio Kiss Kiss (via Il Napoli Online) confirming the Magpies’ interest in the midfielder.
He said: ‘Benitez wanted him a lot and wanted him this summer at Newcastle.
‘We have preferred the Italian Championship because it is a very tactical football and Maxime works on their game day after day.’
These comments are sure to intrigue the many Newcastle fans lining up at the bar in the Tavern, what with the central midfield area slightly lacking in depth at present, but it also further underlines the challenge Benitez had in bringing transfer targets to St James’ Park during the summer.
Landlord’s verdict: Rafa Benitez’s frustration with regard to incoming transfers was pretty evident throughout the summer, with some targets failing to make the move to Newcastle United.
And it appears that former Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons was another deal that fell by the wayside during the close season, with the Frenchman’s agent recently confirming the Magpies’ interest in the 28-year-old.
Roma snapped him up but he has so far only appeared twice for the Italian giants, a tally which is likely to bring even greater irritation to Benitez and Newcastle, as he’s a player who would certainly have bolstered their midfield ranks for the upcoming season.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!