It was interesting a week ago when Rafa Benitez was talking about how difficult it would be to bring Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert to Newcastle, that he hadn’t exactly given up on signing the 24 year-old French winger.
Benitez was talking about how difficult it would be to persuade Chris Hughton’s Brighton – a promotion favorite much like Newcastle – to sell the Magpies one of their best players.
24 year-old Anthony Knockaert – Brighton winger
This is what Rafa said last Thursday when talking about Knockaert:
“We know that will not be easy. We are rivals and I think it will be tough to convince them.”
“Normally you try and, if you cannot, you have to move on and start thinking about other targets.”
“We will see, but I think it will be difficult.”
It’s the “normally ….. you move on” bit that’s interesting.
Maybe these are not normal times for Newcastle and apparently Anthony is keen to come to Tyneside, so maybe an improved bid could persuade Brighton to sell?
The Chronicle are reporting it’s a possibility that Newcastle may go back in with another bid for the talented French winger.
Newcastle are said to be willing to go up to £10M for a player who cost Brighton £2.5M when he signed on from Standard Liege in January.
But the problem has been that Seagulls chairman Tony Bloom and manager Chris Hughton do not want to sell any of their best players from last season as they mount another promotion challenge this season.
Knockaert scored 5 goals in 16 appearances for Brighton last season and he was a Newcastle target when he was still at Guingamp back in 2012.