Claims this morning that Florian Thauvin has made it clear he has no interest in playing Championship football for Newcastle and will also refuse to come back for pre-season training at the club.
The Corriere Dello Sport say that Thauvin is determined to leave Newcastle and will do everything he can to get a move.
Friday morning brought reports from Sky Italian that Lazio had followed up their initial interest in the Newcastle winger and asked about his availability, wage demands and the transfer price on his head.
Newcastle were alleged to have told Lazio they are looking to recoup 13m euros, which would represent a loss of over 5m euros on the original 18.4m euros United paid, plus of course the wasted cash on wages and his part in helping to bring about relegation.
That 13m euros figure is close to the amount (around 12m euros) Marseille paid for Florian Thauvin three years ago when they bought him from Lille and probably a more realistic valuation IF he can reproduce his original Marseille form before Newcastle bought him.
Florian Thauvin does have form when it comes to forcing a move, when he wanted to leave Lille and join Marseille back in 2013, the winger staying away from training to get the transfer he wanted.
It seems clear that Newcastle will be happy to see the back of him but the sticking point could be on what terms he would be able to leave.
Very strange claims elsewhere in the Chronicle that Newcastle are holding out for more than Florian Thauvin cost them last summer. Considering his disastrous time at St James Park and no better than average loan spell back at Marseille, there is no way United will get anything close to what they overpaid for the winger on Graham Carr’s advice.
Hopefully a realistic permanent offer will be made ASAP, whether from Lazio or elsewhere, and Rafa Benitez can get on with utilising that cash on top of his transfer kitty, to bring in the players to take us back into the Premier League.