On, off, and now on again – that’s the saga of the Lamine Diatta deal – but we are still pleased he has finally signed for the club.
Lamine Diatta – has signed only until the end of the season
After we expected the 6′ 0″ Senegalese International to sign earlier today, we were surprised to hear the deal had fallen through and Lamine would look into other options he still had available.
Apparently Kevin Keegan got sick of waiting for Lamine to make his mind up, and he called the deal off. That seems to have done the trick because Lamine has signed for the club, but only until the end of the season.
The offer from Newcastle United was for 9 months, through the end of this year, but Lamine has only agreed to sign until the end of the season.
That seems OK to us because if he’s any good, we can always offer him an extended deal for a year or so. But he will give Keegan some options at the back and by all reports he has looked good in training this week.
The deal had looked to have collapsed this morning after Diatta failed to agree terms during long negotiation that dragged on and on yesterday. But after a change in heart, Lamine will now play for a longer and possibly improved contract between now and the end of the season.
That’s a win-win situation because he will be trying to impress, to get a longer contract, and on the Newcastle side we have another much needed option for the back four through the end if the season.
However, Lamine will not be playing for a week or two as he still has to get match fit. We expect Keegan will arrange a friendly game or two to quicken Diatta’s progression to match fitness.
Bottom line – we’re pleased he’s eventually signed. We need all the help we can get at the back in our final league games.