We’ve been fairly certain the last thing Florian Thauvin wants to do next week is to report back to Newcastle for pre-season training, after he walked out on the club last January after six months, to return to Marseille on loan.
That was when Newcastle were struggling mightily against relegation, but Florian had simply had enough of Newcastle and the cold weather and he gave up and went back from whence he had come.
Benitez is now trying to unload the 23 year-old ,with Marseille wanting another loan deal for him next season, but big interest coming from Italian club Lazio for a possible straight transfer.
Florian Thauvin in action against Aston Villa
That’s mainly because former Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa is now the new Lazio boss and interested in signing the French U21 International, whom he coached while at the French club and rates the player.
Newcastle want around £11M back for the player we paid Marseille £13M for last summer.
Corriere dello Sport are reporting today that Newcastle are willing to allow Florian to go on loan to Lazio with an option to buy of £11M, once the Frenchman plays a certain number of first team games for the club.
Presumably if that number of games is reached before January then the deal could even be made in the winter transfer window?
Thauvin is reported to have told Newcastle that he isn’t going to play in the Championship next season, and that he will not report back for pre-season training next week.
Are we still paying wages to this guy?
But not wanting to report back next week is hardly surprising, given he basically left the club last January and didn’t even want to play for us when we were in the Premier League.
Maybe we are being too hard on the lad, since he was in a strange land with weather that was a lot different to what he was used to in the south of France – in short it turned out to be a nightmare for him not helped by the struggles of the team under the woeful Steve McClaren.
Florian would also have had language difficulties too.
But Thauvin has still turned out to be one of the worst signings made by Chief Scout Graham Carr – and if we can get £11M back for him, then we’ll be doing quite well.
Rafa Benitez reportedly doesn’t want the Frenchman as part of his Newcastle rebuilding program.
That’s also not surprising.