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Rafa Benitez Identifies New French Center-Back Target

There’s news in the Northern Echo that Rafa Benitez has identified 26 year-old Frenchman Florian Lejeune and former Manchester City player as a possible summer transfer target for Newcastle.

The defender now plays for Spanish side Eibar whom he joined last summer after being sent out on loan for the previous season by Manchester City to Girona FC who play in the Spanish second division.

The Paris born player has played two full seasons the last two years making 40 appearances with 5 goals for Girona and last term he played 37 times for Eibar with one goal.

26 year-old French center-back Florian Lejeune

The defender who usually plays at center-back but can also play in midfield is said to be valued at around £8.7M by Eibar, even though they paid only £1.2M for him from City a year ago.

Well – it’s good money if you can get it.

Lejeune joined Manchester City in 2015 from Girona but was sent out on loan back to his former club for the season and didn’t make one appearance for the Manchester City first team.

We wonder what the thinking at City was behind that signing?

By our records this is the first time we have been linked with this player as Rafa Benitez spreads the net far and wide to get the right players into the club this summer.

In March of this year Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was linked with wanting this player in the summer and Tottenham are also said to be interested.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

19 comments so far

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jun 1, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #1

    Posted a link about him this morning.Don’t know anything about this player. Anybody seen this lad?

  • cyprus

    Jun 1, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #2

    CB, LB, keeper?

    Rafa, you have bigger priorities man. Unless we’ll be defending for our lives all season, so we’ll need a few sets of these people.

    I think mitrovic will come good, but note the word ‘think’. Gayle will not emulate last year, let’s give him 8-9 goals.

    Summary: for now save some money on replacing defenders, who are surprisingly quite good these days. Buy a CF. Then go backwards?.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Jun 1, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #3

    I think people have got so use to the poor way the club’s been run for a decade that they think only buying a few players is what we should do or need.
    Rafa is thorough…he will see ALL the gaps and plug them. I have complete faith in him overhauling the squad this summer. I can see about 7 first teamers with about 4 squad and lots of youth to build the squad on. Then a hell of a lot of outgoings. This will be the busiest summer we have ever had

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 1, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #4


    Aye I thought I’d got it wrong but couldn’t be arzed to check out the correct spelling on Wiki. 🙂

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jun 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #5

    bug rumours…
    anyone heard about….
    Newly-promoted Newcastle United have reportedly made a £22m bid to sign Arsenal and France striker Olivier Giroud this summer.

  • PotugueseTOON

    Jun 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #6

    A newspaper in portugal says that the hiring of semedo is made for 14 million euros for 80% of the pass. I hope it’s a lie because he’s a weak player

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 1, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #7


    I hope not!


    Jun 1, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #8

    Dont joke about that charlie!

  • calvinzolamakongo

    Jun 1, 2017 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #9

    I’d take him as a lone striker we are never playing two up top are we ,

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jun 1, 2017 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #10

    I’d have Giroud. His minutes to goals ratio is as good as Harry Kanes this season

  • OneAlanShearer

    Jun 1, 2017 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Semedo deal agreed for 14million euros with 20 percent sell on clause.
    Read frim nufc 360 on twitter a response saying he is quick big and strong but males mistakes. If rafa irons those out he’s a steal apparently. ..go on rafa nack him lol

  • OneAlanShearer

    Jun 1, 2017 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #12

    Shire…me too on Giroud. Wasted on arsenal’s bench. Love to get him in.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jun 1, 2017 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #13

    Don’t know much about Semedo tbh

  • firebug666

    Jun 1, 2017 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #14

    Ruben Semedo’s agent has denied any agreement has been reached to sell the Sporting Lisbon defender to Newcastle United.

    Rafael Benitez’s side are showing firm interest in the centre-back, with the Spanish tactician looking to vastly strengthen his squad ahead of the return of Premier League football to St. James’ Park next season.

    It has been claimed in the Portuguese media that Sporting Lisbon reached an agreement with Newcastle over a fee of €14m for 80 per cent of Semedo.

    Sporting Lisbon were reportedly in touch with Newcastle on Wednesday to make clear the terms of sale to the Premier League side.

    “Totally false. It’s a lie. This is not true at all”, he told Desporto ao Minuto, when asked about reports suggesting Semedo is Newcastle bound.

    “It has no real background.

    “It’s all a lie”, Balde stressed.

    “Ruben is with the national team and it is all a lie.

    “There is nothing.”

    Semedo has been included in the Portugal Under-21 squad for this summer’s Under-21 European Championship, where good performances could potentially see further teams take an interest in him.

    The 23-year-old has also been linked with another Premier League side in the shape of Southampton.

  • cyprus

    Jun 1, 2017 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #15

    Giroud? Let me think.

    Hell yes.

    And a great song to boot.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Jun 1, 2017 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #17

    Ooo, this team is prem ready imo.


    Really hope this happens tbh.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Jun 1, 2017 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #18

    Wishful thinking perhaps. But it’s definately possible.

  • ToonRich

    Jun 1, 2017 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #19

    Can’t say I’ve seen anything of Semedo before, but after a little youtube scouting he looks very promising…he reads the game well, stays on his feet/doesnt dive in, tackles cleanly and good with the bal at his feet. Not to mention he seems quick, strong and imposing!!


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