It does increasingly look like Newcastle United are trying to buy Alassane Plea.
Various newspapers had claimed a bid to buy him had been made by NUFC.
Then Le10Sport in France reported on Tuesday that Newcastle had seen an offer rejected, for a player who they say is valued at over £18m by Nice.
Sky Sports followed that (see below) with a ‘breaking exclusive’, claiming that Newcastle were in talks with Nice to buy the striker, who can play through the middle and on either wing.
Alassane Plea (pictured above with Hatem Ben Arfa, the pair played together when Nice finished fourth in Ligue 1 in 2015/16) is now said by The Times to have been the subject of a £15m bid by NUFC.
They say that offer was rejected BUT Newcastle are expected to come back with a better offer.
This could be the moment…
Newcastle United’s current transfer record is the £16.8m they paid for Michael Owen some 13 years ago.
To get a striker with any kind of a pedigree/reputation this summer, that record surely had to fall.
There does appear to be genuine interest from Newcastle and especially The Times aren’t usually ones to be making up transfer offers, so if Newcastle are to land Alassane Plea they must almost certainly have to offer beyond that £16.8m.
Only 36 days to go until transfer window deadline and things could at last be starting to happen.
The Mag – Tuesday 3 July 2018:
Tuesday has seen Sky Sports bring a ‘breaking’ news story to viewers, reporting that Newcastle United are now in talks to sign Alassane Plea.
The 25 year old looks guaranteed to leave Nice this summer and it appears to be a case of just which club he will end up at.
Earlier this morning we brought you news (see below) that Patrick Vieira had confirmed the striker didn’t turn up for the first day of pre-season on Monday.
This followed/coincided with an exclusive from Le10Sport over in France, reporting that Plea had been the subject of a Newcastle United offer, which Nice had instantly knocked back.
The claimed NUFC bid said not to match Nice’s £18m+ valuation of the striker.
Always tricky with Sky Sports ‘exclusives’, as you know whether they are indeed…exclusives.
Where Newcastle are concerned, Sky Sports have regularly been given the nod by NUFC on many transfers previously, thanks to their special relationship with Mike Ashley.
Not always the case, but pretty regularly the broadcaster has been first with NUFC transfers.
As for this Alassane Plea one, it is hard to tell whether it is just recycling the news from elsewhere, or indeed their ‘sources’ are real this time.
It was interesting that when Ki Sung-Yueng signed on Friday, nobody at all, including Sky Sports, had a clue about it before the day of the deal actually happening – which including the player having had his medical, been interviewed and videoed/photographed for the club to put out as part of the announcement.
The Mag – Earlier Today (Tuesday 3 July 2018):
Newcastle United are claimed to have made their first offer of money for a new player this summer.
The momentous event reported to have happened on Monday.
It was contained in an ‘exclusive’ by Le10Sport over in France, they say that whilst clubs such as Borussia Monchengladbach and Monaco had made enquiries for striker Alassane Plea, it is actually Newcastle who have made the first firm offer.
They say their information is that the offer was made by Newcastle, but instantly rejected by Nice.
Le10Sport say that one thing they are certain of, is that Nice are insisting on a transfer fee of over 20m euros (£18m+) before they will let the player go.
Not bad business for someone who they paid Lyon just £400,000 for back in 2014. There has been claims of West Ham offering £27m for Alassane Plea but that figure looks unlikely/over the top.
The 25 year old made a slow start to his Nice career, scoring only three and then six goals in his first two Ligue 1 seasons at the club.
However, these last two seasons have seen a much improved and dangerous player, league goals returns of 11 and 16 which have coincided with the arrival of Mario Balotelli at the club.
Alassane Plea can play through the middle or on either wing and has a lot of pace, with Balotelli playing as the main striker it makes Plea’s goal return look more impressive.
He actually got 21 goals and seven assists in all competitions last season and looks like he is definitely leaving Nice this summer.
A French Under 21 international, Alassane Plea has made further headlines, with Nice boss Patrick Vieira having now confirmed that both Plea and Mario Balotelli didn’t turn up for Nice’s first day of pre-season training on Monday.
No explanation has been put forward for Balotelli’s absence but other French media have claimed that Alassane Plea had experienced ‘airline issues’ in his attempts to make the first day of training.
With now only 37 days until we get to the Premier League transfer deadline day, it would be a help if indeed Newcastle are starting to offer money for players.
Whilst Ki Sung-Yueng is a credible squad signing, as Newcastle fans have season ticket renewal deadline day today, it would be encouraging to see a guaranteed first team signing or two arriving in the very near future.