Newcastle had a bid accepted by Lille for midfielder Boubakary Soumare last month. The amount was in the range of £35m plus add-ons.
Despite their best efforts, Newcastle could not tempt the 20-year-old to leave Lille for Newcastle in the middle of the season.
After the transfer fell through, Soumare started in a 2-0 defeat to PSG playing 78 minutes. However, since that match on the 26th of January, the French U21 international has not made another appearance.
It seems that there are now tensions between the midfielder and his club. It has culminated in him not playing in four straight games, including not even making the squad on Sunday in a 2-1 defeat to Marseille.
L’Equipe have published some comments from Lille manager Christophe Galtier on the situation with Soumare.
“There is a situation at the club that I do not comment on. During seasons, there can be tension between a player and his club.
“We’ll settle this internally and find a solution. Under these conditions, I, therefore, decided to work on two other options this week (Niasse and Onana). I found it interesting what Onana could do.”
It is unclear what the situation is, but there is a report in Sport Witness claiming that it is due to Soumare’s refusal to join Newcastle last month.
We hope this is not the case, and it really doesn’t make much sense if it is. Soumare has a host of admirers, including Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea. Lille will likely be able to cash in on the player this summer.
If an unsuccessful attempt to lure the player away last month has caused a rift between him and the club, it may not bode well for Newcastle’s chances of tempting the player in the summer.