Report: Newcastle target Lemina set to opt for Nice
Newcastle United target Mario Lemina is set to sign for OGC Nice, according to the Northern Echo.
The Southampton man had been a target for the Magpies over the last few weeks. And just yesterday it emerged Steve Bruce’s side had revived a move for the 27-year-old by entering into talks.
However, we were shown the swiftness of the transfer market late last night. The Northern Echo released a report later in the evening claiming the Ligue 1 team were close to agreeing on a deal for the midfielder.
It will be a bitter blow for the Magpies, who have already seen a few deals fall through.
Newcastle were chasing a move for Kristoffer Ajer but were beaten to the punch by Brentford. Meanwhile, a deal to sign Joe Willock from Arsenal seems unlikely after the young ace started pre-season with the Gunners.
Lemina isn’t a stranger to English football. He currently plays for the Saints after moving from Juventus in 2017. Meanwhile, he was close to a move to Liverpool, who chose to pull out of a deal on deadline day back in 2015.
Newcastle transfer business disappointing so far
This summer started off an important one for Bruce, who would have been looking to rebuild his squad after last season.
Despite a late resurgence up the Premier League table, the club endured a dismal campaign, battling relegation for much of the year. It made the need for reinforcements all the more important.
Adding an experienced figure like the 2017 Champions League finalist would have been good. Despite Fulham’s struggles last term, the ace showed his quality in flashes.
However, this summer’s transfer business has been nothing short of a shambles from Newcastle as Lemina allegedly opts for Nice. They also missed out on Ajer and could well lose out on Willock due to a lack of funds.
To constantly miss out on deals for players show the lack of ruthlessness from the hierarchy. It only strengthens the call for change at St James’ Park; starting off with replacing Mike Ashley.