Newcastle Could Be Pipped For This Transfer Target

Lyon are reported to be in the lead to sign 21 year-old Angers winger Nicolas Pepe, who is also reported to be a target for Newcastle United in the January transfer window.

The report is in French newspaper Le Progres, which is based in Lyon – and it was L’Equipe a couple of weeks which reported that Newcastle were in the lead to sign the youngster.

At the time of the L’Equipe report the other big clubs said to be interested in Nicholas were Juventus, Lille, Monaco, Roma and Lyon.

21 year-old Angers winger Nicolas Pepe

So if we are to believe the report then Lyon are likely to sign the youngster next month for around €10M – which is around £8.5M using todays exchange rate.

It is known that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez wants to bring in another winger next month, with Rolando Aarons injured in mid-November and out until near the end of the season.

That’s what the Chronicle are reporting today so that’s some good news for Rolando who was unlucky to suffer a cruciate ligament injury in training.

On-loan Chelsea winger Christian Atsu is off to the African Cup of Nations to play for Ghana early next month and could be missing for around five weeks.

It could be that Rafa wants to bring in proven  Premier League players next month, who can make an immediate impact at Newcastle and help us get promoted.

That’s job one this season so that could count against Pepe, although he could still be brought in as one for the future.

Nicholas was born in France of Ivory Coast parents and he has elected to play for the Ivory Coast, winning his first cap last month in a 0-0 friendly game against France.

He is under contract until June 2019 and joined Angers in 2013 from Poitiers FC and he’s made 19 appearances with 2 goals and one assist for his club this season.

He can play on either wing but has only played 27 times in total for his club with 2 goals and one assist, so he could be a risk – at least if Rafa wants players signed who can make an immediate impact next month.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

113 comments so far

  • Bobbybee

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #1

    9Bobbybee // Dec 28, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    Clem, for me 442 is the way forward whilst Shelvey’s out, but I think we’ll both be disappointed matey. Rafa is pretty stuck on his 4231 and I can’t see him changing his ways, as much as I’d like him to.
    I’ve given up on Perez. He’s simply not cut out for the Championship and like Mbemba is more likely to succeed in the PL, where it’s not so rough. He goes down with the softest of touches and refs don’t give those fouls – if they are even fouls. I’d send him out on loan in January myself.
    We certainly need to change tactics, if not formation. Two wingers cutting in, with Gayle, or two wingers going outside with crosses for Mitro. We need to stop being bullied as well.

  • Clematis

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #2

    I agree, Bobby…but it would be cool!

    I have to say that some of the football we’ve seen at home has been out of this world so in Rafa I most definitely do trust.

    Who knows, maybe he will forgo the 4-2-3-1 whilst Shelvey is out?

    I’ll be there on Friday hopefully cherring on a rejuvinated team to a 4-nil spanking of our newest rivals Forest!


  • Novocastrian66

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #3

    Spotlight. It is highly unlikely that 4 teams will get 90 points or more.
    Reading will have to exceed 2 points per game for the rest of the season to get over 90 points. Considering they have not managed this so far it will be a big ask for them to do it know. Likewise Leeds.
    You have put too much emphasise on current form.
    I think your final positions could be fairly accurate but not the points tally.

  • Bobbybee

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #4

    Clem, just a shame Shelvey won’t be there to enjoy it. I will though and hope we wipe the floor with them. If ever a team needed punishing for blatant cheating, then it’s Forest. Revenge will be sweet. I imagine Rafa wasn’t too happy with the display on Boxing day either and will be looking for a complete turnaround in performance. Granted the ref was poor, but we still played below par.

  • Clematis

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #5

    We did play poor and this is our chance to redeem that night!

    But, Christ, I hope we get a ref that at least gives us SOME decisions our way.

    Roll on Friday!!!!!

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #6

    Fridays ref Keith (cardhappy) Stroud
    His only game with NUFC was our SJP victory over Brighton

  • Bobbybee

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #7

    Clem, the fact that Sheffield fans said the ref had a great game says it all really. There should’ve been players sent off, but that appears to be the standard in the Championship – shocking. Watching PL games recently has made me aware that the difference in standards is huge. They’re testing video refs in Italy this season and it appears to be successful. It only takes a few seconds to check, certainly no longer than the arguing that ensues following a decision. It will go against us on some occasions, but as long as they reach the right decision that’s really all that matters. Nothing hurts more than being beaten by a dodgy decision that would be overturned by simply checking it. I like the rugby league way, where they simply ask ‘is there any reason why I shouldn’ t award a try.’? It takes pressure off the refs and also removes doubt as to whether there’s any bias towards so called big teams. Bring it on I say.

  • Clematis

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #8

    Ah, Jib, that ref was awful! He bought every bit of playacting from Brighton! I feel worried now! 🙁

  • Clematis

    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #9

    We deffo need video tech, BB.

    Shef Wed fans said that? Aye, I could well-imagine.


  • Budge123

    Dec 28, 2016 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #10

    I really didn’t think the Ref was that bad.
    Yes a yellow or 2 early would have forced them to calm down a little but for me they were physical rather than cynical mostly.
    The main problem was we didn’t compete with them and then stopped being able to pass the ball once the pressure mounted.
    Also I can’t think of one valid reason why in such a game Perez would come on ahead of Mitro. Very poor from Rafa I thought.

    Agree about the Wednesday fans though – a glass cider bottle nearly took my head off after they scored.

  • Bobbybee

    Dec 28, 2016 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #11

    Budge, we clearly don’t have the same view on cynical then mate! Twice they brought down players off the ball and neither was punished with a card. If the ref had branded the yellow when it was deserved, they would’ve had to stop it, but every time you let them off it gives them at least one more chance to repeat it. 15 fouls in the first half, all of which could’ve been yellow imo.

  • posada

    Dec 28, 2016 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #12

    Seems that forest will be without a number of players.
    We’d be wise to take that with a pinch of salt.
    However, why don’t we have a right go at them.

    With Rafa it’s always caution first. 4/2/3/1.

    Signs Lazaar but still plays Dummet.
    Signs Yedlin but still plays Anita. Pace needed.
    Signs Atsu but still goes with Goufran.
    Mitro does not get a look in.

    Rafa Rotation was just a load of bull.

  • mindshaft

    Dec 28, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #13

    Championship refereeing is terrible, they should definitely bring in video –
    Would stop all this playacting by players and haranguing of referees for every decision, I’d prefer the right decision even if it goes against us at times.
    For games such as Forest we would have won comfortably as Clark goal would have stood and nobody would have been sent off.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 28, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #14

    Not to mention the penalty we should have had!!

  • mindshaft

    Dec 28, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #15

    Mitro has looked poor when he’s come on and I don’t see the logic in dropping 16 goal Gayle

  • posada

    Dec 28, 2016 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #16

    I would not drop Gayle.
    I’d drop Diame.
    He was a man off against Wednesday.
    Played well in previous 3 games at times, but is always in and out of it.

  • lochinvar

    Dec 28, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #17

    Atsu going to Afcon for 5 weeks could be a big issue for us

  • lochinvar

    Dec 28, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #18

    Mindshaft @13
    Not just the incidents you mention but their first goal should have been ruled out as they had a player come back from off the pitch into an offside position and interfered with the play – bad enough that the red did nowt but the linesman didn’t do or say anything – shambolic standard

  • jasper

    Dec 28, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #19

    Mitro was poor?
    He came on at 80′.
    He had a header on goal, he won more headers from long balls than we had managed all game, including one out to Atsu giving him a 1:1 on the FB. He had two tackles where he won the ball with his strength, stayed on his feet and redistributed it which is about as many as Colbeck managed all game.
    If you want poor look no further than Perez…..

  • beefman13

    Dec 28, 2016 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #20

    Diame seems a reet lazy git at times, he’s to get that consistancy, Richie is working hard but not much end product, Colback just no, Dummett who I like but everything he does now is safety first like the ball is laver hot, we have no width at all at the moment, a powder puff midfield without daft Shelvey, we really do have to buy in this window or loan, many people saying our squad is so strong? Shelvey dosnt play and we look pants, no forward thinking ideas no running off each other, it’s been awful lately.

  • jasper

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #21

    Hayden’s had 6 yellows. Has he been suspended at any stage, I don’t recall?

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #22

    Its easy to criticize Colback but that was his first game back after injury.

  • jasper

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #23

    I called the defeat on Monday in the first half because they were pressing and harassing us and we did not have an answer.
    If Forest do the same as SW, Blackburn and Wolves we could be in trouble again. If they stand off and try to park the bus, like Birmingham, then we should break them down ok.

    Despite the Norwich result I fear that Rafa is going to continue to give Mitro and Gayle much time together on the field. I do wish he would change tack mid game, for instance like Watford bringing in Deeney

  • Bambams

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #24

    I would give Mitro his chance, I would also play two up front at home Gayle and Mitro.

    Yedlin rather than Anita as well.

    We are so slow in getting the ball forward.

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #25

    He has 7 one in the EFL cup as well

    He escaped the 5 card cut off date by days.

    The next is suspension for 10 yellows before an amnesty in May

  • Budge123

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #26

    Bobby – you’re right and as I said an earlier card would have calmed them down . But the first rule in all sport is compete and I don’t think we stood up to them. Gayle was falling over every time the wind changed for example.
    Then into this physical game Rafa brings on Perez. Mind boggling.
    The ref wasn’t great granted but the issue lies with the players and substitutions.
    losing nearly 40% of our home games isn’t down to poor refs.
    formation and intent are the main problems I think.

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #27

    Jasper @19
    You jump on the bandwagon, like most, and criticise Colback. You don’t mention Hayden, who was his more fashionable midfield partner against Sheff Wed. Hayden was absolute dogsh*t but almost nobody mentions this. Both of them were expected to morph into playmakers / attacking midfielders which isn’t and is never gonna be their forte. The players who are there to do that didn’t.
    Ritchie and Gouffran barely made a forward pass all night. Same with Clarke and Lascelles out of defence. Nobody mentions that. It’s boll*cks continually blaming the same names, usually either Dummett or Colback, for all the team’s shortcomings. We can definitely improve on the performance, that’s what coaches and training are for, in the days between games.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #28

    We were talking about Armstrong today at a mates house and I mentioned you and how much you’d followed him, how you daid his goals had dried up at Coventry and that Barnsley aren’t playing to his strengths, funnily enough you posted on the matter which I showed him. Although I thought him better elsewhere he is doing nothing at Barnsley and simply couldn’t do worse than Perez so unless we’re planning on a replacement he needs to come back. However if next season we offer him to someone like Derby, Villa or another top Championship club who don’t make it this year and they don’t want him, where does that leave him, at 21 he has to be a leading man at a Championship club if he’s going to make it in the PL. Also if you have to play exactly to his strenghths does that not make him a one trick pony?

  • hibbit

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #29

    we were out-fought out thought and out maneuvered
    its no good blaming the crowd or the ref SW done us and its up to Rafa to make sure it doesn’t happen again
    more than anyone player had a bad game
    if you like a play you make excuses if you dont you slaughter him
    we had more than one poor player last night

  • Toonfan8

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #30

    yes there is no problem with Colback or Dummett, they play their game. They are good players, when we need to defend a run all day, but like I told, Sheffield isnt Chelsea, Man City or so, they wont play possesion game against us, they were waiting, sitting deep a counter attacking and they were doing it good and we simply put there players who defend first and they were told to attack, that is why they looked bad, there wasnt one creative player, Ritchie isnt creative, Gouffran isnt creative, Diame isnt creative…we looked threat only when Atsu and Mitro came on…this match showed, that we should play more attacking players, especially at home…vs Nottingham, this should be line up…
    this line up posses more attacking threat and is also quicker…I put there Mbemba, because he is best CB for taking ball out of defence…yedlin has great pace and can score also assist, same goes for lazaar, atsu —paca, shot, hayden and diame dont need to attack too much, Mitro powerforce and Gayle quick, Shearer and Bellamy like if you want, no so much quality, but our best strikeforce…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #31

    It might have something to do with his celebration against us and he largely hasn’t been that good for us.

  • dcro1

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #32

    We really need a player who can break the lines, carry the ball and commit opposition players dragging them out of shape.

    We were incredibly predictable against Sheff Wed. Windscreen wiper football. Going side to side. Slow, predictable, obvious.

    Shelvey masks a lot of our weaknesses he’s such a crafty player with aggressively positive pass selection.

    What is Hayden? He seems ineffective to me as an AM or a DM? Colback afflicted in the same way although admittedly a superior spoiler.

    In Shelvey’s absence I was really looking to Ritchie to step up. Don’t know what’s happened to him but at the minute he’s a super technical player who’s not being brave enough with the ball. Plays safe too often for a player with his gifts.

    Not saying drop Ritchie but Atsu needs to be starting. He goes for the throat and it’s really refreshing. Could Ritchie move inside as a 10? Maybe not as it never quite worked out for HBA who was always better coming from outside to in but I’d try it.

    Dummett has to be replaced. He’s an honest lad straining every sinew to be competitive and not make mistakes. He’s incredibly mechanical in his play and it’s holding us back.

    Mitro should be sold. I’m no fan – too slow – but even his admirers must realise Rafa doesn’t fancy him at all. His wages and transfer fee would be better invested in a player Rafa rates.

    This all sounds doom and gloom but we’re a good side with a fantastic manager. Just needs tweaking around the edges.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #33

    I reckon Rafa has been out thought four times in 23 which isn’t bad for a guy new to a league.


    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #34

    evening all
    hope everyone had a good christmas…..disappointed with the sheff wed game….i said earlier this season that we struggle to pull out a positive result when we really need it and yet again on boxing day it happened again….this is going to be a big problem if we dont sort it out….to add salt to the wound it seems like its mostly at home…..sheff wed created more clearer chances had it not been for darlow, it would of been embarrassing.

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #35

    According to Belgian media – Anderlecht are looking at Sels but Matz doesn’t fancy Brussels.

    However for his future – not least with the national side as 2nd man to Thibault Courtois he may have to bite the bullet.

    There’s some tasty players at Anderlecht we could trade for.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #36

    According to wikipedia Emanuele Rivierie hasn’t kicked a ball in anger for loan club Osasuna!

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #37

    It does irk me that you come on here after a game that hasn’t gone well and lots of folk are flapping about like fish in the bottom of a boat. We nearly broke the record for the most consecutive wins the other week, we’ve scored more goals than anybody else by far, conceded fewer than most and we are comfortably in an automatic promotion spot at the halfway point.
    There’ll be ups and downs supporting just about any team. Get a grip and try to enjoy the ride ffs.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #38


    The game was so frustrating especially the way Wednesday were hanging on for dear life at the end with Atsu and Richie wide and Mitrovic in the middle we were all over them I am 100% certain if we had have started with Atsu and Mitrovic instead of Colback and Gouffran we would have won comfortably

    Atsu really attacks teams it sometimes doesn’t work for him but fullbacks do not like playing against him Richie looks better on the left as he can just whip it in first time rather than having to cut inside all the time

  • lesh

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #39

    Unlike some, I’ll admit to being a no-nowt when it comes to detail but has our drop in form coincided with Cathroe’s departure to Scotia?

    Just an thought but there’s hundreds, thousands probably millions out there who know more than me.

  • lesh

    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #40

    Pepe looks good in his black and white stripes – maybe he’d look good and play well in ours?


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