Florian Thauvin is on his way back to Marseille according to shock reports this morning.
There is widespread coverage in the French media with L’Equipe saying that Newcastle have been in talks for a number of days with Marseille, the winger set to return on loan to France for the rest of the season.
The idea of this potential loan move is both a bit mad…but also common sense, at the same time.
Facing a big relegation fight, allowing a £12m flair player to leave doesn’t sound like a great plan.
However, when that £12m recent signing has contributed nothing and his confidence is apparently shot through at the minute, it looks like an ideal solution, at least in the short-term.
Florian Thauvin is reported to have told his agents and family that he is desperate to go back to Marseille, at least for the rest of this season.
Marseille are said to need an answer today to their loan offer, or else they will be looking for alternatives. They have a number of injury problems at the minute, including Newcastle loan player Remy Cabella out of action.
Regional French newspaper La Provence also cover the story and claim that the terms of the loan deal are all but agreed, with only Steve McClaren to give his approval.
Matter were hardly helped when Florian Thauvin was given stick by some Newcastle fans when they believed he was feigning injury at Watford on Saturday, as United desperately chased an equaliser.
Any deal will surely prove expensive to Newcastle, not only the £12m fee that has already gone out of the door but also no doubt they will need to heavily subsidise any wages if he returns to France.
This is before you get to any expense of a replacement for Florian Thauvin, with surely McClaren insisting on another player coming in to fill Thauvin’s boots. Yet more rumours this week that a deal for Andros Townsend could be imminent, potentially a loan with permanent transfer clause for the Spurs player?