The Chronicle have reported that Spanish club Sevilla are expected to bid for 27-year-old Newcastle central defender Florian Lejeune.
One of the consequences of the Newcastle hierarchy being so slow to sign up Rafa to a new deal and meet his demands is that clubs will try to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Rafa’s future and try to sign some of our top players.
It could also work the other way with targets maybe hesitating about signing on at Newcastle unless and until Rafa signs a new deal to stay on Tyneside long term.
Florian Lejeune was injured in the first half of the first game of the season against Spurs after impressing in the preseason games and missed several months of action.
Florian Lejeune – excellent first season – in action against Chelsea
But he came back into the side early this year and was outstanding at the back alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles.
They looked a formidable partnership at the back for Newcastle.
We’d be very surprised if Newcastle entertain any attempts to sign Lejeune who is on a five year deal on Tyneside and will only get better with more Premier League experience.
Newcastle signed Lejeune from Eibar for £8.8M last summer, and according to the Chronicle report, Sevilla will bid £13M for the Frenchman, which is below what Newcastle value the player at.
Newcastle don’t want to sell, and it would need to be silly money for the Magpies to allow Lejeune to leave the club.
But there’s always the possibility that if a decent bid comes in for Lejeune and it gives Newcastle a decent profit over a short 12 months then owner Mike Ashley could sell.
Ashley still seems to be more worried about hoarding money than what the strength of the team is on the pitch at Newcastle.
That could be a major problem with Rafa Benitez who wants to build a top team on Tyneside and that means keeping your best players – like Florian Lejeune.