Mario Lemina agrees £4.7m move to Nice rather than Newcastle United – Report
On Thursday night (22 July 2021) RMC journalist Loic Tanzi reported that Mario Lemina had flown into Nice.
The reporter saying that the midfielder had arrived in France, set to finalise a three year deal with the Ligue 1 club.
With only one year left on his five year Southampton contract, the Saints keen to move on a player they had no use for.
Now on Friday morning, that has been followed by an update from Dan Sheldon, he covers Southampton on behalf of The Athletic.
Dan Sheldon stating that Nice and Southampton have agreed a deal, with a total of £4.7m to be paid, including add-ons.
The man from The Athletic saying that Southampton had originally wanted £8m but accepted that with a year to go on his contract, taking the offer was right move.
Another bizarre Mike Ashley transfer episode comes to an unsatisfactory conclusion.
Back in June, The Mail reported that Newcastle and Southampton had been in talks for the transfer of Mario Lemina but once money was discussed, Mike Ashley had insisted that due to the midfielder set to turn 28 in September, no transfer fee could be paid. The Mail saying that Ashley has brought in yet another age based transfer rule, where no transfer fee can be paid on any player aged 28 or over.
The Mail saying free transfers could still be allowed on more mature players but in the case of Mario Lemina, Mike Ashley was insisting that Southampton took one or more of Newcastle’s unwanted players in exchange, with not a penny to be paid in a transfer fee.
Not surprisingly the talks ended and no deal done.
However, late Wednesday night / Thursday morning brought new claims that a deal to sign Mario Lemina had been resurrected.
The Mail saying that talks were back on between Southampton and Newcastle United, with Mike Ashley now accepting to an extent how desperate NUFC are for some new better quality signings, the club owner having now sanctioned a £4m bid for Mario Lemina.
Newcastle / Ashley having belatedly accepted that they have to ‘hurry’ if they want this deal to happen, with Ligue 1 club Nice having offered an initial £3.5m for the midfielder.
The Mail adding that Newcastle had made their offer of personal terms to Lemina and offered a three year contract. The expectation was that a deal could be done by the weekend if the player was convinced to make the move to Newcastle United…
Who knows the truth of what Newcastle United / Mike Ashley had offered, but regardless of that, it appears Mario Lemina has gone elsewhere. Nice offering a £4.7m package that presumably wouldn’t match or better.
With the way Ashley is running the club is sounds very difficult for any signings to be made.
We are now only three weeks away from the new season and on day 45 of the transfer window with not a single signing made.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]