We thought Newcastle may be in the lead yesterday to sign striker target Alassane Plea of Nice.
We had bid £20M and that was close to the £26M Nice wanted for their player.
We were also pleased that Borussia Monchengladbach seemed to have withdrawn their interest.
But news today that the German club are back in for Plea and are now favorites to get the deal done – according to a German report.
Have Newcastle taken too long negotiating for Alassane Plea?
The report in Kicker says that indeed the German club withdrew their interest yesterday but had a change of heart.
Here’s a piece from the Kicker report:
“According to our information, the Bundesliga club has agreed terms with the player, the contract contents have been negotiated.”
“The player wants to go to Gladbach and talks between Nice and Borussia have come a long way.
“Both clubs have reached a principled agreement, but contractual arrangements still need to be clarified.”
And the Telegraph are reporting today that Tottenham Hotspur are now the favorites to sign the 25-year-old striker because Newcastle are unwilling to go above £20M and they also haggled too long over the price.
Hang on – my head has started to spin.
Here’s the opening piece and a little more from the Telegraph report:
“Tottenham Hotspur have entered the race to land Nice striker Alassane Plea after Newcastle United failed to move quickly enough to complete the signing as they haggled over the price.”
“His preference was to do so (play in Premier League) under Benitez and that should have made the deal relatively simple to complete.”
“But Newcastle’s obsession with trying to secure a bargain means they now seem likely to miss out on the 25-year-old unless they raise their offer.”
“Something they have so far failed to do, even though it was rejected several days ago.”
So even when Newcastle are close on the price and the player wants to come to Newcastle and play for Rafa we are still trying to save a million pounds here or there and miss out – because we take far too long.
That’s something Rafa mentioned last summer that we have to move faster for our targets and having to go through Ashley all the time slows things down considerably.
If this is all true then we have to think Rafa will be absolutely furious and so he should be.
But we’re not sure all is lost – and maybe we still have a chance to sign the player if we can only move quickly?
This is exactly what happened in January 2015 when we had agreed a deal for £5M with MK Dons for Dele Alli.
We haggled about the agent’s fee and in came Spurs late in that “January” window (2 February 2015)) to sign him.
Question – how much is Ali worth now?
You cannot always do bargains on every single transaction and guys like Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley must understand that – and look at the big picture.