Interesting claims on Friday regarding Newcastle United’s pursuit of Alassane Plea.
The media in France reported (as well as those in England) that Newcastle had offered less than what Nice valued the striker at.
The Ligue 1 club putting a valuation of £18m+ on the 25 year old pacey versatile forward, only for Newcastle United to fall short, as usual (read below).
Sky Sports said that Newcastle continued to be in talks with Nice but now The Telegraph has a further update.
They report that due to Newcastle United haggling over the price and an agreement dragging on, it has now allowed Tottenham to come in for the player.
The newspaper reporting that the North London club are now favourites to land Alassane Plea, this despite the striker having been originally keen on working under Rafa Benitez and playing for Newcastle in the Premier League.
Newcastle could still succeed but it will need a significant increase in what they originally bid, which looks unlikely based on past transfer windows. Nice invited NUFC to come back in with another offer some days ago but are reported to have heard nothing more.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph report that this latest lack of decisive action has left Rafa Benitez disappointed and frustrated, with it looking like a very similar transfer window to the past three under Mike Ashley.
So far, free transfer Ki Sung-Yueng is the only new face at the club and even he won’t join up with the squad until later this month due to World Cup involvement. Rafa having thought this time that there was agreement on the absolute necessity for a new striker and that quick progress needed to be made in the transfer window.
Ironically, Alassane Plea could end up facing Newcastle United on the opening day of the season. Spurs travel to St James Park on Saturday 11 August, the match is a 12.30pm kick-off as earlier today it was revealed four NUFC games had moved for Live TV.
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.