Newcastle In Contact To Sign Impressive Center-Back

Newcastle were reported to be interested in Lyon center-back  Samuel Umtiti over the weekend and there seems to be some validation of that interest coming from his agent – Yannick Umtiti – who happens to be the brother of Samuel,

According to reports we have been watching the player all this season and certainly we were linked several times with the 22 year-old in last summer´s transfer window.

The interesting thing is that Samuel is playing well and partnering former Newcastle center-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who was a complete bust when he signed for Newcastle three years ago from Montpellier, when we were also fighting relegation.

samuel umtiti

Samuel Umtiti – Lyon center-back

Lyon are playing well at the moment and are third top of the French League with 42 points, but that´s a massive 31 points behind PSG and 8 points behind second placed Monaco.

The French league is starting to look a bit like the Scottish Premier League – a one club league with PSG having won 23 of their 28 league games this year.

Yannick has confirmed Newcastle´s interest in his brother in France Foot 01:

“I was contacted in recent weeks by English agents who discussed  Newcastle.”

“But honestly, not a single concrete offer has been made so far by an English club.”

“We would consider an offer from Newcastle and the interest of other clubs who will eventually position themselves in the summer.”

“But we prefer overwhelmingly the best footballing project, which today appears at least to me to be the one offered by Lyon.”

That last sentence is the standard response in that they are always happy where they are,  but will still listen to offers from other clubs.

And players and agents alike are very well aware of the massive money being paid out to Premier League clubs over the next three years starting this summer – with the massive £8.3B TV rights deal.

One problem we have with Samuel is that he´s not particularly tall for a center-back at 5ft 11ins.

That´s the same height as Chancel Mbemba, so it would seem better if Newcastle brought in a much taller center-back to pair with Chancel for next season.

Samuel has played 160 times for Lyon since making his debut for them four years ago n a 3–1 win against Lyon Duchere in January of 2012.

He can also play at left back and that´s another position Newcastle will have to strengthen in the summer, but we will also have competition from bigger clubs for Samuel, with both Chelsea and Tottenham interested in the player.

It´s estimated that Samuel would cost around £10M and it does seem that we have already made contact about buying him without any bid having been made for him yet.

No bid will be made until we know which league we will be playing in next season and that may not be until the end of the season.

Comments welcome.

53 comments so far

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #1

    In a number of games we’ve played some good football as a team, and have looked good when pressing higher up the pitch. The skill is there to do good things, and the interaction between the players, at times, is a far cry from what Pinocchio served up.

    I think the problem could be McClaren setting them up cautiously away from home, just like Silver Tongue. It affects confidence and provokes more errors.

    If we continued to be positive and show the belief that we can dominate every single game we play in, I’m sure we’d be nowhere near where we are.

    McClaren should never have got the job in the first place though. Another sacked lower league manager.

  • thejokethatisnufc

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #2


  • croftus5678

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #3

    not seen this lad but if he’s near what mbemba is like then it’s a huge huge huge step for us.

    need to see this season through yet though !

  • martoon

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #4

    Laurent – I agree with you about the set up away from home – far too cautious. On McClaren surely most available managers have been sacked by their previous club?

  • manxpie

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #5

    I’d rather bring in defenders from the championship than France like harry maguire, at least they know the physicality
    Of the English game and imo it’s a similar standard to ligue 1 anyways

  • ToonMatt

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #6

    I think it’s insane to be even thinking about signings for next season? I think we are relegated and it’s impossible to stay up with McClaren in charge, The blame lies with Charnley, He should never have been given the job and hiring McClaren proves it, Ashley should have stepped in before that break a few weeks ago and sacked them both, It’s too late now.

  • BandB

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #7

    “We don’t want to dwell on last season’s mistakes.

    “Instead we’ll spend the entirety of this season scrambling to get back up to the spot we were in when we’d finished making them.”

    It’s the story of past seasons, and likely what’s on the menu for next.

  • Jib

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #8

    Umtitti is only 5’11”
    I think we are getting him as a left back (Lyon play him as CB and LB).
    We’ll probably trade him for Massadio Haidara.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #9

    Martoon, it affects their confidence and belief in my opinion. It puts doubt in their minds that they’re not good enough to play their normal game and have a chance of winning the match.

    It throws them into disarray, they question themselves and their natural game and replace it with what they have been told to do (to an extent, that is professional football though). The enthusiasm and enjoyment of playing the game is also replaced with a chore-like attitude, which I don’t think is sustainable most of the time, and is even worse when losing games.

    Indecision can cause a possible successful situation to turn into an unsuccessful one, and that can be brought about by deviating from a positive mentality of having belief that they can be a match to anyone they play against.

    I wish Klopp was our manager. If I was a player, he seems like a great man to play for.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #10

    Hmm. Jib I see you’ve just posted this – ?

    8Jib // Mar 1, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    “Tsunki-Last night I was scolded by Jib and told to have patience”

    It never happened (attention craving windbags are be the curse of this blog )

    But Jib, surely you recall this? ?

    Jib // Feb 29, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    We are 4 weeks into the second half of the season of which nearly 3 weeks has been lost.
    Patience child

    On and you did nice smiley after it 😀

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #11

    I think it’s going to be one of those disappointing times when you fail to conjure up a satisfying answer to the strange things you post. Such as that one about the ‘ genuine’ support. Also last night. Any thoughts on that, Jib?

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #12

    If I was trying to sell Newcastle as a great ” footballing project” I don’t think I would do it just yet.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #13

    Martoon, some managers are sacked, yes, but I’d say that a sacked Benitez, Bielsa etc. far outweighs a sacked Championship manager in McClaren.

    Having a generally solid/successful/entertaining managerial pedigree over a length of time just cannot be ignored in my opinion, and is a good foundation to make an appointment – not being sacked from their last few lower league appointments sort of thing.

    It’s common sense I reckon. Shame Charnley and Lambeezy hadn’t developed that yet thought process just yet.

  • manxpie

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #14

    Laurent i think it’s also the players mindset too for away games it shows when they can’t even pass a simple ball which happens far far more when we play away so i feel it’s far more than the set up that’s the problem

  • Jib

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #15

    We live in disappointing times

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #16

    Manx, a mindset should be drilled into them day in day out that they CAN perform, CAN be successful, CAN accomplish good things in the pitch. I think that is a huge fundamental skill by the manager to be able to get the team to function as one unit.

    The physical aspect of completing a pass or other task isn’t in question, they can do it. However, a number of times it’s not. That’s not the lack of physical ability, it’s a mental one. Lack of confidence, belief, indecision, attitude, and being unfamiliar with their surroundings. It causes missed opportunity and doubt.

    This should not happen. A manager should being reinforcing their own positives and not accepting anything less, in no uncertain terms. Is that what McClaren lacks, perhaps? Character, inspiration, and enthusiasm?

    A skill task may not come off, it doesn’t matter, because their positivity will bring about another chance again to correct that error, and when they have belief in their ability and that of the team, they will find success – along with astute organisation, preparation and coaching of course

  • Jib

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #17

    Very interesting the info on Cathro from Lilo.

    I wonder if he was what we needed after last seasons debaclé.

    Is he lurking like some junior éminence grise in the background.

    The side (especially away from home ) does at times give the appearence of a group of young men who are getting their messages muddled.

  • manxpie

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #18

    Laurent aye but that’s probably the most difficult thing to do especially as it only takes a loss or even a goal against for that type of mindset to creep back in
    plus not having a more settled starting eleven is a big issue too for me, which can not help whichever way you look at it

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #19

    Physical tasks can be poor if coaching is not correct, but as we’ve seen in a number of games, the coaching has been much improved. More bodies pushing forward, better interlinking play, miles less hoof ball, trying to keep possession, not shooting all the time from ridiculous distances, and trying to pass out of defence, and there’s been an improvement around their 18yard box.

    As coaching is improved on the whole, the attitude of simply not playing on the home ground has found a downturn in from. It is a pitch with 11 men on each side completing a similar game.

    There should not be such a deviation in form, therefore questions must be asked at tactics, mental state, and goal orientation (what do they want from the game, and how are they approaching the situation to be able to succeed).

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #20

    Manx, a goal against you can make a difference, but again, that is worked on prior to the game to minimise the detrimental effect. It does not alter their goal orientation, it’s just another hurdle to overcome.

    It is very difficult to do, it’s easier said that done, but it has to be applied. Acceptance of set-backs is as much a part of succeeding as doing things well. It’s a conditioned state of mind.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #21

    Jib we certainly do live in disappointing times, but as you say, we probably only need a little patience, child 😀

    No thoughts on your apparent amnesia attack or the ‘genuine’ support question yet, Jib? I’m genuinely interested in your expansion of thought.

  • manxpie

    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #22

    Yeah that’s Wat I’m saying and i don’t think there is a quick fix to it as it’s been a year’s worth now of shocking away form
    Doesn’t help when sisko starts every game regardless of his form, would prefer to see aarons n town send on the wings against Stoke hope doumbia gets a start too so in other words a proper pacey team to worry them

  • goommy

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #23

    Get him!!

  • toon kk

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #24

    We’ll be in the championship next season, will he still come?

  • posada

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #25

    Mbiwa. When he first signed he looked good. Quick, strong,confident and very fit.
    All things he brought with him from his previous club.
    Like many just went down hill fast at NUFC.

  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #26

    Interesting stuff earlier from Lilo on Cathro. Cathro has been described as a genius by his previous manager.
    What we do not know is how far, if any, has Wally/Simpson embraced any new methods put foward by Cathro.
    Have they -and have his ideas flopped.
    Or have they not at all embraced any new ideas.
    Or – have the players rejected any new methods.

    As again -with NUFC we just do not know, same with just about every other aspect of the club.
    Probably not even a fan with good coaching knowledge can hazard a guess by watching the training. Due to King Percys’ anti spying wall built around the training ground. (What a laugh that was).
    Players should at least have the gumption/training to follow instructions by the coaches – it is often easily seen when panic ensues we are all over the place and everything falls to bits.
    Interesting seeing Shelvey -he’s always remonstrating with his arms where players should/shouldn’t be. Maybe NOW – the others may have a bit more confidence and make the runs fully expectant that Shelvey is going to hit them with a decent ball.
    tomorrow -sitting back -allowing Stoke possession without harrying will be a recipe for disaster. Need to get into them from the off.

  • toon kk

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #27

    What a pathetic club, The board haven’t got a clue, the manager is out of his depth, the players are either not good enough or can’t be arsed and the fans actually pay to watch dross.
    You wouldn’t believe it!

  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #28

    Doumbia – hope I’m wrong – but I think he might just be a dud.
    When he came on as a late sub – he was pedestrian – did not break a sweat.
    Just a guess at the moment -hope I’m wrong though.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #29

    The Anti-spying wall must be a modesty barrier. Protects them from embarrassment.

  • toon kk

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #30

    Mister Tuff.
    You could easily be right about Doumbia, having said that most of our players are duds, that’s why we’re in the relegation zone, so he should fit in just nicely.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #31

    Strange how money seems to be thrown at various club projects for very little return. To add to the neglect of exploring advertising revenue paths to the full, lifeblood along with catering, merchandise and match day hospitality, events etc, nufc seem to be fritter in useful cash on upholding an academy that is largely useless and unproductive atm. it’s almost as if nobody is bothered what’s going on while the club potters on and treads water. There’s no crisis management, it’s all seat-of-the-pants governance that only sparks into some sort of impetus as a reaction to impending or acconplished disaster. it’s almost as if Mike hired a cobbled board of directors to muddle along and produce adequate profit and loss and tax reports for Companies House.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #32

    My old man used to refer to things like council and club committee meetings as “Chimps Tea Parties” some of these old sayings have life in them still don’t they? it’s exactly what I picture when I think of Lee and the boys hammering out their strategy for league domination.

  • Jib

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #33

    Mr Tuff

    Lilo got me thinking about Cathro so I had a look at the training pics from La Manga.

    He’s at none of the team sessions.

    I checked NUFC tv online and he was defo there as he got off the team bus against Lillestrom.

    The only pic is of him doing any coaching seems to be a one-on-one session with Vurnon Anita.

    Perhaps if he is just doing one-on-one stuff being a loner is no bad thing (showing no favouritism ).

    On Doumbia he had to get back up to speed from a long lay-off (Russian winter break etc.) so too soon to write him off.

  • Ian Toon

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #34

    Newcastle under KK practised small-sided games every day…and used to do a very light warm-up, jog around the field a couple of times to loosen the limbs, do a few stretches, put the cones down for goals and then go into five-a-side or eight-a-side.
    It was the same every single training day. There was no tactical work, none whatsoever. All the strategic stuff was done within the small-sided games. KK followed the Liverpool experience and he believed that everything that was faced in five-a-sides would be encountered again on match day. The entertainers training characterised their play – uncomplicated but devastatingly effective.
    Practising on smaller pitches, the toon were always going to play a short, passing game. They only trained with small goals so there was little long-range shooting. They passed the ball until close enough to score. The philosophy centred on passing, making angles and one-touch football.
    And you could go and watch training at half term and holidays.

    Now whether or not you think that this is a good plan for coaching youth football, which it definitely is, or whether it is actually true of Liverpool at this time, I wonder whether a professional top level team could do this now and survive let alone succeed.

    I mean, even Barca must drill set-pieces or man vs zonal marking some of the time. Indeed, surely, Liverpool then did

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #35

    How long should Doumbia need to get up to speed? I mean, they don’t just stay indoors and gorge on hearty stews and dumplings and stay in bed all day for those Russian winters do they? I expect that have some off-season fitness regime I. Place so they can start their season off running? I think it’s reasonable Doumbia should be able to John about fittingly for 90 minutes by now.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #36

    Jog about. I don’t think he should John about at all. No.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #37

    Ian, ancient Greek athletes used to train with weights attached to their limbs, then on race day would chuck it all off and sprint round in the buff. I guess the close passing closing down of give a side with tiny goals must focus the accuracy. The way we are playing atm must mean we are playing five a side on a full pitch with a beach ball and no goals at all.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #38

    I did occasionally catch a training session at maiden law. Good players to go and watch then

  • Jib

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #39

    I used to watch them at Durham and they did a lot of practise 11 a side matches on a full size field which seemed to go on for hours but with a regular change of personnel.

    I was there once and black porche reg VEN 1 came screeching into the car park and an old biddy next to me said
    “Eeeh I didn’t realise Terry Venables had such long hair “

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 1, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #40

    Kevin also set us out to enjoy and try and win every game and his outlook on football was an inspiration. Big difference.

    He even said in his Sporting Heroes interview that he had to change their mentality and the surroundings to be positive.


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