Wednesday morning has seen reports that Newcastle United have had an offer turned down for Thiago Maia.
The 21 year old plays for Lille in France and Le10Sport say that the Ligue 1 club has turned down the NUFC offer.
No number has been put forward as to the alleged offer but Lille paid Pele’s former club Santos £12m last summer for the defensive midfielder’s services.
Fair to say that after impressing in his first season in Europe, if the French club were to be willing to sell, then they would be looking for at least that £12m as a minimum, probably more.
If there is genuine interest, Newcastle may be looking to take advantage of Lille’s current situation, as they are far removed from the club that won the French league and cup double back in 2010/11, featuring the likes of Cabaye, Hazard and Debuchy in their team.
They also moved into a brand new fifty thousand capacity stadium in 2012.
With twenty thousand empty seats on average last season and a near miss with relegation – they finished 17th, the club is also struggling financially.
The French media outlet say that Newcastle have been watching Thiago Maia for some time and indeed, the likes of Juventus, Chelsea and PSG were credited with interest when he was still playing in Brazil, before Lille eventually put the money up.
Interesting/intriguingly, Le10Sport do say that Lille have indicated they are not wanting to sell….’at least not at the price Newcastle have offered’, an indication that the French club may be tempted to sell to Newcastle, or whoever, if they get the right offer.
At one point, hearing of supposed Newcastle interest in a promising young player in France was almost a daily occurrence.
This summer, the fact remains that Rafa Benitez will have to use his expertise to find value for money, wherever it can be found and whatever his budget actually is.
As for Thiago Maia, if by any chance Newcastle did land him, then he would be unlikely to be adding many goals, last season he managed only one in 37 appearances for Lille