Claims in France this morning that Newcastle have approached Angers with a 10m euros (£8.5m) bid for Nicolas Pepe.
Back in mid-December, L’Equipe first reported that Newcastle were interested in a January move for the 21 year old winger/attacker.
Further reports in the French media said that a 5m euros bid from Lille was turned down as ‘derisory’, with Angers holding out for their 10m euros valuation, and that Newcastle were expected to come in with a higher bid this month.
Now L’Equipe say a 9m euros bid from Hull has been made but that Newcastle have indicated that they will top it and meet the French club’s valuation.
The 21 year old winger recently broke into the Ivory Coast senior set-up and went to the African Cup of Nations, though he was an unused substitute in all three games as they crashed out at the group stage.
Nicolas Pepe was straight into Ligue One action on Saturday and scored the winner as Angers beat relegation rivals Metz 2-1, that result lifting Pepe’s club out of the relegation zone.
It was the player’s third league goal of the season but whilst he has appeared in 19 of Angers’ 22 league matches this season, only six of those have been in the starting eleven.
From the Newcastle end of things, it would seem unlikely that Rafa Benitez would see such a signing as a priority, when all indications are that he wants experienced players who can play an instant part in this promotion run-in.
A 21 year old player who isn’t an automatic first choice for a team at the bottom of Ligue 1, doesn’t instantly suggest either that he could be a Premier League star of the future if Newcastle were promoted.
Tuesday saw further reports that Andros Townsend was Rafa Benitez’ main target and that only a £2m loan fee was preventing a deal happening, with a £13m permanent fee at the end of the season.
Today will bring the answers and thankfully only hours left to go of another painfully annoying transfer window.