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Rafa Benitez Now Reported After Two Defensive Midfielders

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!!

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • Bambams

    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #1

    I maybe jumping the gun a little, maybe it’s just because we keep reading ‘signing imminent ‘ or ‘ transfer 90% complete ‘ but I am worried we seem to be struggling to target the players in the ‘Tens of millions’ and looking (again) at bargains or players nearing the end of contracts.

    Now before I am lambasted I have no problem with good value players, however if we continue in this tried and failed method we will struggle again next season.

    I think we need to pay the rate for the players Rafa wants rather than find the players with the money Ash wants to spend.

    Hopefully I am wrong and some very good players are house hunting as I type…..

  • martoon

    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #2

    I don’t know much about him but if he has been with Lyon since the age of 10 it’s hard to imagine him and his family being comfortable anywhere else!

  • ToonHamster

    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #3

    My question is: Why are we not giving this position to either Saivet, Bigi or Amdy Faye?

    Genuinely though, I think it’s a good idea to get a different defensive midfielder in and bring proper competition to Hayden.
    From the sounds of it, Colback is being touted around other clubs and I don’t think he can really give adequate competition to Hayden. He could probably cover an injury or be a sub but I think Rafa would want someone who could push Hayden all the way.
    Bring in someone who would probably make Hayden no.2 and throw the mantel down so Hayden has to fight to become no.1 again. Sounds like a good way to develop a decent young player.

  • jazzyp

    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #4


    I know we are being linked to every man and his dog, But I brought the same thoughts up a week ago.
    Whether that be because we are battle scared from seasons past and use to rattling around in the bargain basement.. I don’t know. But we seem to being linked with a lot of players towards the end of there contract and cheap options.
    I appreciate there is no guarantees in life, But the feeling of a 15-20 million player coming to Nufc, Rather than a freebie or a lad for 2-3 mill fills you in my opinion with more optimism

  • nightfa11

    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #5

    dont forget leiva

  • Bryan

    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #6

    Your totally right. This guy is only 4m for a reason. Where is all the experienced premier league players Rafa was going to bring in?

  • Bambams

    Jun 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #7

    Cheers for that, I was almost reluctant to type knowing so many are ready to pounce on anything derogatory about our club.

    Like I say let’s hope Rafa has it all planned and the right players are only a matter of a few days away.

    To be fair we are a club on the up and I don’t think it will be hard to entice good players. Just the size of out war chest that I am concerned about…

  • hibbit

    Jun 21, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #8

    still think Rafa will surprise us

    at least i hope he will

  • RoyalToon

    Jun 21, 2017 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #9

    Gonalons will be good for £4 mil, a lot better than Colback. But I would still go for Delph and McCarthy over him and the guy from Torino.

    We need to spend big on attacking players. A centre forward and a number 10. Aboubaka (however you spell it) could do well but a good number 10 costs a fortune. Would love to see Pastore from PSG but he’s going to cost £30mil+. Can’t believe that know one has tried to get Belletti from Torino yet. He is still young and scored a lot of goals in a poor team last season. He has got to be worth at least £70mil but no teams even making an approach.

    Is probably no chance of us being in for any players of this quality if we have been trying so hard for the likes of Abrahams.


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