If the Chronicle are right Newcastle will not be even attempting to sign Schalke center-back Joel Matip in January – but maybe that’s because Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are making him a target next month.
They want to sign him on a pre-contract agreement and then sign him in the summer when he becomes a free agent.
Newcastle have come down in the football world in the last few years that we cannot compete with any of the top six clubs these days – that not an opinion – unfortunately that’s now a fact.
Lamine Kone – Lorient center-back
The other center-back we are being linked with in the January transfer market is a good one – 6ft 3ins tall Lamine Kone of Lorient – who has been one of the best center-backs in France for a few years now.
Last month Kone’s representative Mark McKay, revealed a number of clubs were after his player:
“I am speaking to several clubs who are ready to make an offer for Lamine in January.”
“Lamine has been outstanding this season for Lorient and I believe he is made for the Premier League.”
“He is big, strong and athletic and has all the tools to be a success in the Premier League.”
“It has always been a dream for Lamine and a number of other French players to play in the Premier League and I feel he would be a great addition for any side in the Premier League.”
Kone will turn 27 in February which is right on the upper limit of players Mike Ashley likes to sign and it’s interesting that Sunderland and Swansea are two other clubs said to be after him.
That’s three of the bottom four clubs in the league at the moment.
Lamine was born in Paris and he’s made 16 appearances for Lorient this season and joined them in 2010 from Chateauroux and picked up his first cap for the Ivory Coast last year.
The fee being mentioned is a low £5M and Newcastle can certainly afford that – but it’s still a question whether Newcastle will bother to bring in a center-back next month with Steve McClaren maybe wanting to persevere with his captain Fabricio Coloccini at center-back.
That’s one of the big questions for Newcastle in next month’s transfer market – exactly which positions will the powers that be at the club want to strengthen?
It looks like the big and strong Kone would be a good signing for us next month.
What do you think?