Bad news for Rafa Benitez as Anderlecht have turned their backs on signing Matz Sels.
A move looked nailed on but then as time has dragged on, we ended up in a position a week ago (see below) where Belgian media reported that Newcastle had ‘laughed’ at Anderlecht’s opening offer.
Then when asked to come back with a better offer, the Belgian club’s second bid was claimed to have led to anger from the Newcastle side regarding having wasted their time, whilst HLN reported that Anderlecht’s Director of Football, Luc Devroe, had already made clear to them that this (£1.75m plus potential small additional bonus payments) would be the highest they would go.
Whilst the Matz Sels negotiations were ongoing, they Belgian club brought in Thomas Didillon from Metz, with the intention of him being number two to Matz Sels.
However, on Thursday, Luc Devroe has given an update on the situation, saying the ‘financial picture for Sels became too big’ and that new signing Didillon would now compete with Frank Boeckx who has been at Anderlecht for the past three years.
The season kicks off earlier in Belgium than other European countries and their first friendly is tomorrow (Friday 22 June), Anderlecht having made 10 signings already and Devroe saying that they simply couldn’t afford to offer more for Matz Sels.
“If more than ten new players have to be added, we can not spend too much on one player.
“The financial picture for the Sels transfer became too big, Boeckx and Didillon will compete for the spot under the bar.”
The Mag – 14 June 2018:
If there was one unwanted player that looked a certainty to be shifted out of Newcastle United, it was Matz Sels.
After a successful year at Anderlecht on loan, the keeper agreed personal terms on a five year permanent contract some weeks ago with the Belgium club, a price agreed between the clubs thought to be imminent.
However, reports from Belgium say that there is now zero trust between the two clubs.
Belgian newspaper HLN state that Newcastle United ‘laughed’ at Anderlecht’s opening bid of 2m euros (£1.75m) and that they invited them to make an improved offer.
When Anderlecht came back with an offer of 2m euros plus small bonus amounts if certain targets are met, HLN say that if anything this made things worse, the Newcastle United hierarchy said to be angry – as they felt their time had been totally wasted by the Belgian club.
Luc Devroe, Anderlecht’s Director of Football, has been in charge of negotiations and the newspaper report that he has stated Anderlecht won’t offer more than what they have already put on the table.
With little/zero trust between the two clubs there looks to be little prospect of a deal, though as always money/desperation talks.
Even if the transfer fee was less than £2m, if Anderlecht have gone anywhere near Sels’ Newcastle wages it will still be a significant amount for them, with no Champions League revenue this coming season.
Another worry now is that Anderlecht yesterday completed a deal for another keeper, Thomas Didillon arriving from Metz, He was originally supposed to be number two to Matz Sels but could find himself with an instant promotion, if Anderlecht want to gamble on him.
It is only eight days until they have their first friendly, so the clock is ticking.
The Mag – Tuesday 12 June 2018:
Whilst the Chancel Mbemba move to Anderlecht is reported to be dead in the water and the defender set to join Porto instead, Matz Sels is set to at last make his move permanent.
Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad says that talks took place on Monday between Anderlecht and Newcastle to finalise the deal, with the player having already agreed personal terms some weeks ago.
The report says that all sides in the negotiations are keen to get things agreed quickly now, with the move set to be announced this week.
The season starts a few weeks earlier in Belgium compared to most other European leagues and Anderlecht have already signed seven new players ahead of pre-season training.
Their first pre-season friendly is only 10 days away (22 June v RWDM) and the Belgian newspaper says Matz Sels wants to be back training with the Anderlecht squad on Monday (18 Jun), ahead of the friendly on the Friday.
They also report that whilst Matz Sels is to come in as number one, Anderlecht are also in talks to bring in Thomas Didillon from Metz, who will be number two to the soon to be former Newcastle keeper.
Maybe this is one deal that will be finalised a little quicker than would otherwise have been the case, if Matz Sels had made the final cut for Belgium’s World Cup squad.
Rafa Benitez can only be helped by the number of unwanted players he can manage to quickly move on in this window.