Lovro Majer was on his way to Sampdoria.
The Serie A club having agreed to pay a reported £7m for the attacking midfielder, plus additional payments depending on hitting targets, as well as a 20% share on any future transfer price.
The exciting young player only turned 20 in January and has been the star player for Lokomotiva Zagreb in the Croatian domestic league, scoring 11 goals in 30 appearances from midfield.
However, despite Sampdoria seemingly having the deal all but over the line, over in Italy Calciomercato’s exclusive now says that Newcastle United have come in with a much improved offer.
Instead of £7m up front, the Italian media outlet says Newcastle have offered £10m, with also an improved wage offer for the player which is over 50% higher than the Serie A club’s offer.
In total, Lovro Majer has made 34 appearances this season for his club, scoring 14 goals and grabbing five assists.
With Rafa Benitez set to have another restricted transfer budget, to bring in the better quality is always going to be difficult.
With Mike Ashley seemingly not allowing big wages for older players on big wages who wouldn’t have a resale value, younger players could be where Rafa has to gamble.
Last summer 21 year old Mikel Merino and 22 year old Jacob Murphy were two of his three biggest signings (along with Lejeune), so maybe we will see similar this summer.
Lovro Majer was named young player of the year in Croatia and has already played for the senior Croatia national team.