The Brighton Argus reported yesterday that Newcastle had bid for 24 year-old Brighton & Hove Albion winger Anthony Knockaert in what was said to be a substantial bid, but the south coast club turned it down.
The report was that Newcastle had “prepared a bid of between £6M and £10M”, so it looks like the Tyneside club will need to bid all of £10M to get the French U-21 International.
24 year-old Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert
Whether Newcastle are willing to do that we don’t know and Brighton paid only £2.5M for Anthony when they signed the former Newcastle target from Standard Liege back in January.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton wants to keep his best players at the club during the summer transfer window, including Knockaert – and this is what he has told Sky Sports News HQ when asked about the Newcastle bid:
“What we expect is lots of speculation,” “It’s a consequence of the season we had last season but we want to challenge again.”
“And to be able to challenge again we want a team that is as good as last season and our aim is to keep our best players.”
Brighton were close to being promoted in May and they want to keep their players together so they can launch another bid to get promoted to the Premier League for the very first time.
Brighton Chairman Bloom has already turned down a bid of £5M from Crystal Palace for center-back Lewis Dunk, who has been a long term target of Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez wants to sign at least four players this summer and one of them is an attacking winger who can score goals – Knockaert, who Newcastle were interested in signing back in 2012 when he was still at Guingamp is one of those players.
Anthony finally moved to Leicester City in 2012 from Guingamp and then moved last summer to Standard Liege in Belgium before moving to Brighton in January.
If he does end up at Newcastle this summer he will have been at three different clubs (on a permanent basis) in just over a year.