The transfer of Florian Lejeune is set to go through this week with reports that Newcastle have agreed to meet Eibar’s final demands.
El Diario Vasco say that the move has never really been in doubt for some weeks but confirmation has been delayed due to negotiations between the two clubs regarding the transfer fee.
The Spanish newspaper says that meeting the player’s demands was never a problem, with Newcastle agreeing to double what Florian Lejeune is getting at Eibar.
However, they report that Newcastle had been trying to get the La Liga side to agree to a reduction on the 10m euros (approx £8.8m) buyout clause.
Once it became clear that Eibar wouldn’t budge on the price, El Diario Vasca claim that Newcastle then asked for payment to be made in two parts, which again the Spanish side rejected.
If that is true, Newcastle wanting to pay in instalments, it would be a departure from the usual Mike Ashley way of doing things, which is to pay up front for transfers but allow buying clubs to pay via instalments. Unless the reference to two instalments suggests Newcastle wanted to make part of the fee based on hitting appearance targets.
Regardless, the Spanish daily paper says that Newcastle have accepted that the fee will all be paid in full and the transfer to go ahead this week, with the Magpies having become concerned that if the deal was delayed any longer, it could then see other clubs come back in for the player.
El Diario Vasca say that the claims of Newcastle on Florian Lejeune ‘have remained immovable’ for some weeks now and that when the transfer is formally announced, it will be a four year contract for the 26 year old centre-back.
The 10m euros transfer will be the biggest ever for Eibar in the 77 years of their existence.
Two weeks ago Eibar’s Director of Football, Fran Garagarza admitted defeat in trying to keep Lejeune, saying ‘I see it as difficult for us to keep Florian Lejeune…Newcastle are taking very strong steps’.
A 10m euros (approx £8.8m) buyout clause was inserted in his contract when moving from Manchester City last summer and a profit of over £7m on a player they paid only £1m for a year ago, isn’t a disaster for Eibar.
With the Spanish TV deal paying a relative pittance to all but the top clubs in La Liga, Newcastle doubling the player’s wages is easy for the Magpies.
Florian Lejeune joined Manchester City in 2015 but was then immediately loaned back to Spanish second tier club Girona and didn’t make a single appearance for the Manchester club..
The French central defender can also play defensive midfield and after making a permanent move to La Liga side Eibar last summer, helped them to a very credible 10th place in the league.
An uncompromising 6ft 3 centre-back, Lejeune picks up a few goals for a defender, scoring nine in the league over the course of the past three seasons. However, he also has a pretty bad disciplinary record, having managed to pick up 11 suspensions in the past four years.
Over the course of 2014/15 and 2015/16 he picked up a remarkable 30 bookings and two red cards in club football, last season though he moderated that a little and had just one sending off and seven yellows.