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Transfer Rumours

Newcastle United are back in for Boubakary Soumare – French media exclusive reports

2 years ago

Boubakary Soumare was a very strange ending to the Newcastle United January transfer window.

After not buying a single player, Steve Bruce suddenly claimed (see below) as the window closed, that Newcastle had allegedly almost broken their transfer record earlier in the month.

The NUFC Head Coach referring to a mystery midfielder who had turned Newcastle down supposedly.

The media very quickly guessing (or told…) that Steve Bruce had been referring to Boubakary Soumare, a 20 year old playing for Lille.

The follow up in the media saw claims of a falling out between the player and his club. Lille said to be angry that Soumare had refused to come to Newcastle, the player allegedly wanting to hold on for a better club, with Liverpool and Man Utd mentioned as his supposed dream destinations.

Boubakary Soumare was subsequently nowhere to be seen in the first four Lille matchday squads of February, as disagreements reportedly continued behind the scenes at the Ligue 1 club.

However, on Thursday, an exclusive in France says that Boubakary Soumare and Lille have now settled their differences.

More interestingly, Le10Sport also claim that Newcastle United have come back to try and sign the midfelder who turns 21 in seven days time.

The French media organisation state that their information is that Newcastle’s January offer that Lille accepted is still on the table.

Le10Sport say that to try and get a deal signed and agreed in advance of the summer window opening, Newcastle United are continuing to press the player and his representatives to convince Soumare to put pen to paper.

As well as guaranteeing the midfielder regular football (which would be very unlikely at say Liverpool), the French exclusive also says that Newcastle would double the player’s current pay, paying him more than 2m euros (approx £1.68m) per year after tax.

The English media were quick to report the supposed Newcastle Janaury offer for Boubakary Soumare as fact but equally, they have almost universally reported since that Newcastle wouldn’t go back for the player.

Which doesn’t really make sense if you originally did believe that he was Newcastle’s first choice and believed that NUFC had made this offer. Just because a 20 year had turned a club at one point, at such a young age, why not believe they would give it another go. After all, Soumare has still only started 23 league matches in hs career so far, so little surprise he might have wanted to play at least one full season in Ligue 1 before considering moving abroad, to Newcastle or anybody?

The Mag – 1 February 2020:

At Steve Bruce’s press conference on Friday, he surprisingly/bizarrely came out with a claim that Newcastle came close to potentially breaking their transfer record for a third time in 12 months.

The NUFC Head Coach introducing the claim that on Thursday 23 January Newcastle United had an offer accepted for a mystery midfielder that could have broken the alleged £40m (£43m according to Mike Ashley) that was spent on Joelinton. Only for the player himself to turn down the move.

Steve Bruce telling the media that it was up to the media to work out for themselves who this mystery (made up?) player was.

Very quickly, Sky Sports came up with Boubakary Soumare.

The 20 year old has starred for Lille this season and looks a great prospect.

Reports varied from an alleged figure of £35m supposedly offered by Newcastle, others as high as £45m NUFC had offered, including add-ons.

For a club that didn’t buy anybody in January, especially a much needed striker/goalscorer, it was all a little difficult to believe.

Now L’equipe have revealed why Boubakary Soumare didn’t sign…

We wonder why?



Only seven years and counting since Mike Ashley in 2013 promised the new state of the art training complex would be built, something that he said was essential if Newcastle United were going to be able to compete and attract top players…

The Mag – Friday 1 February 2020:

Steve Bruce was named as Newcastle United head coach on 17 July 2019 and only five days later a new club transfer record was set.

The media reporting it as a £40m purchase of Joelinton but Mike Ashley insisting it was £43m.

Fast forward six months and one Premier League goal for the Brazilian, Steve Bruce has now made an extraordinary claim.

One no doubt where Newcastle fans will be playing ‘believe it or not’ in the next few days.

Steve Bruce claiming that Newcastle United had a near club record (£40m/£43m) bid accepted for a midfielder on Thursday 23 January.

The bid accepted (according to Steve Bruce) by the other club, only for the player (according to Bruce) to turn the move down and stay with his club.

Steve Bruce refused to name this player Newcastle almost paid around £40m for, with no doubt many Newcastle fans believing that Bruce can’t name the player because he doesn’t exist.

All a little difficult to believe when Newcastle have bought nobody and gone down the short-term cheap route of only bringing in loan players. With the likes of Rose and Lazaro making clear they have no intention of staying beyond this season.

In addition, Newcastle were desperate for a striker/goalscorer, so if there was £40m or so available to spend, why hasn’t some of it been spent on a credible forward (or two)?

Steve Bruce speaking to newspaper journalists:

“We were close but couldn’t get it over the line.

“We had a bid accepted by the club but the player wanted to stay where he was.

“A big disappointment, he was a midfielder and our number one target.”

Steve Bruce speaking to Sky Sports:

“(a bid) Which would nearly have got us to our record transfer (Joelinton).

“Eight days ago (23 January) we had it accepted by the club, unfortunately the player wanted to stay (where he is).

“So you know, we were active.

“We were really really active.

“It didn’t quite happen.

“So, we will just have to wait and see what we can do in the summer…”

(Keith Downie of Sky Sports has suggested/claimed that the player Steve Bruce is talking about is Lille’s Boubakary Soumare, with his belief that NUFC offered £35m, although later reports claimed the eventual total with add-ons was £45m)


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