After five and a half years at Newcastle United, Massadio Haidara sees his contract finally end this month.
Now the French media have revealed that the free agent left-back has found a new club.
It is reported by Foot 365 that Haidara has agreed a two year deal with RC Lens, with the option of a third season.
RC Lens finished 14th last season in the French second tier, so a bit of a drop in both club status and wages no doubt.
The French media reports make mention of the fact that Massadio Haidara was actually announced as moving to Saint Etienne last summer (see below), only for the player to refuse to move as he would have to take lower wages than at Newcastle, where he knew he had no chance of playing.
A sad fact that despite not starting a Newcastle league game since September 2015, the player was prepared to stick it out for another three seasons to pick up higher wages, rather than move to play football again.
Foot 365 say that the transfer is set to be officially announced in the near future.
The Mag – 1 August 2017:
Massadio Haidara looks set to be the latest in an increasing line of players at Newcastle, who prefer to sit out their contracts at St James Park doing nothing, rather than taking a pay cut that will allow them/him the chance of playing football again.
The Newcastle defender’s countrymen Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux were typical of that, players not good enough for Newcastle but given ridiculously long five year contracts and both of them refusing to shift as they picked up wages far beyond what their ability deserved. Rafa Benitez preferring to pay off their contracts to get them out of the club, rather than have them hanging around.
Massadio Haidara was actually given an even longer contract than that hopeless duo, five and a half years, quite unbelievable.
The left-back has one year left on that Newcastle deal but looked to be going to St Etienne.
However, the latest information from L’equipe appears to make that move dead in the water.
The French newspaper says their information is that St Etienne have offered only half of Massadio Haidara’s basic wage at Newcastle, which is hardly a surprise when he has only started 25 league games in four and a half years and as well as injuries, he has been invariably poor when given a chance to play.
L’equipe say that Haidara is currently earning £90,000 per month, which doesn’t include bonuses.
So as well as the initial £2m transfer fee, Massadio Haidara has picked up over £5m in basic wages so far, plus bonuses, with Newcastle contracted to pay him at least another £1m unless they can shift him.
If the Frenchman sees out his contract, it would be the best part of £10m wasted on a player who was never good enough.
It is all very well talking about ridiculous prices in today’s transfer market but if you get the right players then they are worth every penny, just as Alan Shearer was wroth every bit of that £15m paid 21 years ago.
It is the money wasted on the (mainly) Mike Ashley/Graham Carr ‘bargain’ signings that have so handicapped Newcastle and created such a problem currently for Rafa Benitez, who can’t get unwanted players out of the club.
When you add up what has been wasted on the likes of Haidara, Obertan, Marveaux, Riviere, Saivet, de Jong and many others, you are talking a relative fortune.
The Mag – 31 July 2017:
Massadio Haidara looked finally to be heading out the door at Newcastle United.
With only 25 league starts in four and a half years, the defender has been just one of numerous failures from the Mike Ashley/Graham Carr plan of buying young ‘bargain’ players from overseas and then watch them increase in value…
Recent days have seen widespread reports (see below) saying that a move to St Etienne was imminent, with the clubs said to have struck a deal whereby the Ligue 1 club would pay nothing up front but would agree to pay Newcastle United 50% of any future sale price.
Sunday brought news from France that St Etienne had allegedly asked for more extensive medical reports, just to check there was no lasting problem from the assault on Massadio Haidara by Callum McManaman back in March 2013.
However, Monday has now seen L’equipe report that the move has broken down due to Haidara not being happy about the wages offered by St Etienne. A fear for so many of Newcastle’s unwanted players, is that if they expect their wages to be matched when heading back to France, Holland, Italy or the Championship, we will never see the back of them.
Following today’s update from L’equipe though, other media in France are claiming that it is a failed medical that has halted the Massadio Haidara deal.
Hopefully a new club can be found this summer, or else otherwise he is set to sit out the upcoming season and pick up his final year’s wages of a ridiculously long five year contract.
The Mag – 30 July 2017:
More extensive medical reports have been called for before St Etienne will agree to take on Massadio Haidara.
As reported yesterday (see below), Le10Sport revealed that the Ligue 1 club were keen on the Newcastle left-back.
L’equipe then later said that St Etienne were in advanced negotiations with Newcastle and a deal was expected to be announced shortly.
However, L’equipe now report that whilst an outline deal has been agreed by the clubs, it will all depend on what the medical people say.
The two clubs are reported to have agreed a deal whereby no transfer fee will be paid but that the deal includes a clause stating Newcastle will be paid 50% of any future sale figure.
Before that point is reached though, the French newspaper says that medical staff need to give the all clear on the player from an incident four years ago.
Massadio Haidara joined Newcastle in January 2013 and made his league debut in a 2-1 won over Stoke on 10 March 2013, replacing Davide Santon for the final 16 minutes.
A week later, Mathieu Debuchy was forced off after only 14 minutes at Wigan, with Haidara coming on as Newcastle reorganised their defence.
Only 13 minutes later and one of the most disgraceful assaults ever seen on a football pitch was witnessed, Callum McManaman making no effort to go for the ball and taking Haidara off by the knee.
The only two worse things than the actual assault, was the referee not sending McManaman off…not even giving a free-kick, then the authorities refusing to punish the Wigan winger retrospectively.
Difficult to say whether this injury ended up ruining his Newcastle career before it got started but certainly Massadio Haidara hasn’t looked up to the job.
St Etienne could offer all parties a fresh start but we await to see what their medical staff say and whether that injury sustained over four years ago will interfere with his career once again.
The Mag – 29 July 2017
According to French media, Massadio Haidara could be the next one Rafa Benitez manages to get out of Newcastle United.
The manager has already made public that he has talked to the players who have no future at the club and the left-back must be near the top of that list.
Le10Sport report that their information is that after landing Dijon striker Lois Diony, St Etienne have now turned their attention to bringing in a left-back.
The situation is described as ‘urgent’ with Ligue 1 kicking off next weekend, a week earlier than the Premier League.
Le10Sport say that St Etienne are now looking at Massadio Haidara and how much Newcastle may be looking for, before potentially bidding for him.
A typical disastrous Graham Carr/Mike Ashley signing, a ‘bargain’ £2m signing in January 2013 he was one of the many given a ridiculously long contract, in Haidara’s case five and a half years.
In return, United have seen 25 league starts in that time, a player of limited ability who has also had numerous injury problems.
In an interview (see below) in April before the 1-0 home win over Burton, Massadio Haidara himself revealed that he’d been fit since Christmas but had been totally ignored, despite injuries and loss of form hitting Rafa’s team/squad.
The only Championship action the 24 year old did see, was on the very final day. Midfielder Isaac Hayden had been forced to play in defence because so many were unavailable through injury, but the gamble on his fitness went pear-shaped as he was subbed after only 13 minutes with Haidara coming on as Dummett was forced to play in the middle.
With a year left on his contract, hopefully Haidara will leave along with Riviere (Metz and a Turkish club claimed to be ‘fighting’ over the ‘striker’).
Rafa Benitez having admitted he has to get players out of Newcastle, if he hopes to bring more signings in.
Massadio Haidara – 5 April 2017:
“The first thing is we have to be promoted, if I play or not.
“After, for myself, it’s about trying to play some games.
“Even if it’s only one, I would be happy because it would be a good win for me – I would reach my target. This would be a great thing.
“I feel alright. Now I feel ready. I’ve been available for the first team for about three months now. I’m just waiting for my chance.
“You have to take your time with an injury, not rush, take it easy and just try to do things in good time.
“Sometimes it doesn’t work the way you want, and sometimes it could be worse.
“Before that I was never injured, so it was the first time. I was a little bit afraid because it was the first. After that, I was more mature about the injuries, I looked forward and tried to be positive.
“But it’s a little bit difficult in your mind, because sometimes you come back after a long time and you are injured again.
“It’s not easy, but you have to stay positive, look forward and say that maybe the future will be better.
“Your family and your friends try to make you feel good and try to stay positive and to be happy, but to be honest, it’s difficult.”