We were linked with a move for out-of-favor Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons five days ago and there’s a report in the Mail that Newcastle are in a strong position to snap up the 8 times capped French defensive midfielder should he be sold by Lyon in the summer.
Gonalons is immensely experienced and he has leadership abilities too, so if Rafa thinks he can do a job for us in the Premier League then so be it and certainly for just £4M Maxime looks a very decent buy compared with some fees being asked for some very ordinary players in England.
The 28 year-old did not have a very good season last term and the news in L’Equipe is that Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas is willing to let his captain leave the club this summer.
28 year-old Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons
Rafa had tried to sign Gonalons at both Napoli and AC Milan when he was manager at those Italian clubs, but he was not successful.
But Rafa will most definitely bring in another defensive midfielder this summer to challenge young Isaac Hayden for the starting position, with local lad Jack Colback expected to be allowed to leave his home town club this summer.
One player we have been linked with is Afriyie Acquah, who is rated at £8M and the defensive midfielder has said recently his dream move to a Premier League club was 90% complete – but then he backed away from that claim yesterday.
Either one of the midfielders could do a job for the team with probably the better buy being paying out a reasonable £8M for Acquah, who seems very keen to play in the Premier League.
L’Equipe is reporting that Rafa Benitez has already talked with Maxime Gonalon’s representatives and it will depend on whether Rafa thinks he can get the best out of a player who joined Lyon at the age of 10 and Lyon’s the only club he has ever played for.
Maxime Gonalons has appeared 334 times for Lyon with 13 goals and 12 assists – and he seems a reasonable buy at only £4M.
We’ll be a lot happier once we get two or three more good players through the door and hopefully before pre-season starts on Monday July 3rd.
But there’s no doubt Newcastle are after some very decent players so keep the faith.
Howay The Bonnie Lads!!