Newcastle United have had a transfer offer for Anthony Knockaert turned down.
The 24 year old winger came back into English football in January and was an instant hit, scoring five goals and creating a number of others in his 20 Championship starts for Brighton.
South coast newspaper The Argus say that their information is, that Brighton Chairman Tony Bloom has turned down a Newcastle bid of over £6m as he desperately tries to keep the Albion squad together.
Brighton and Chris Hughton were cruelly denied promotion last season on goal difference, finishing third and losing out in the play-offs.
Anthony Knockaert was almost the final piece of the jigsaw to get them over the line.
Originally with French club Guingamp, Knockaert is a skilful, tricky winger who takes his man on and looking back, Newcastle were linked with a move in the past for the French Under 21 player.
In January 2014 Newcastle were reported to be interested but Leicester had no interest, the then 22 year old an integral part of the team that ended the season as champions with 102 points – the same as Newcastle achieved back in 2009/10.
That promotion season, Anthony Knockaert featured in 42 Championship games and the previous season 44 times, altogether scoring 13 goals from the win over two years and racking up countless assists.
Not getting much of a chance in the Premier League with Leicester he allowed his contract to run down and joined Standard Liege as a free agent, only for six months later Brighton to take him on for their promotion challenge – paying just under £3m.
With more departures surely imminent, despite news yesterday that bids for Thauvin and Tiote had been turned down because the offers were too low, Rafa Benitez has made clear he intends to add more players to his squad.
It remains to be seen if Newcastle/Rafa will pursue this deal like they did the Grant Hanley one but Anthony Knockaert is a potential signing who straddles the old and new transfer strategies at Newcastle. A young French player with a lot of potential but also one with considerable experience (two and a half years) of the Championship.