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Ashley Does U-Turn On Sanctioning £4m Deal For 27-Year-Old – Report



Late last month, it was reported that Mike Ashley had nixed a £4m move for Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina due to him turning 28 in September.

Newcastle had been monitoring Lemina’s situation for months with Steve Nickson personally scouting him during a match in May. He was on loan with a purchase option at Fulham, who failed to beat the drop ending any chance of making the deal permanent.

The Gabon international is back at Southampton with an uncertain future. He’s entering the final year of the five-year contract he signed in 2017 when he joined from Juventus for a then-record fee for the Saints.


He’s spent the previous two seasons out on loan with no future at St Mary’s. Newcastle made their move last month with talks of a swap deal. However, Southampton only wanted a cash deal which Ashley was unwilling to sanction.

The Mail is reporting that Newcastle have reopened talks for the midfielder with Ashley having been persuaded to soften his stance. Discussions were held on Wednesday over a £4m deal. Newcastle are offering a three-year contract to Lemina.

It could come down to terms as Nice has a standing offer of £3.5m on the table. Newcastle are currently trying to tempt him to Tyneside to bolster Steve Bruce’s midfield options.

On Sunday, Bruce expressed concern about the position saying the following:

“We’re very, very short in the middle of the park at the minute. Very, very short.

“It’s something we need to address.”

Newcastle are still waiting on a decision from Arsenal over a Joe Willock loan move. There have also been reports of talks with Chelsea for Conor Gallagher and Midtjylland over Jens Cajuste, who is rated at between £11-13m.

Bruce revealed there were a few things ‘bubbling away’ in addition to Willock after the York City friendly. This move for Lemina could be one of the targets Bruce was referencing as he seems focused on midfield additions at the moment.

Earlier on Wednesday, Brentford announced their record signing of Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer on a five-year deal. He was reportedly one of Newcastle’s top defensive targets.

Maybe this u-turn by Ashley on Lemina indicates a slight change in transfer plans this summer after the adjournment of the arbitration hearing to early next year. Hopefully, that’s the case and we can get some sorely-needed new faces through the door.


199 comments so far

  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 1:09 AM

    Comment #81

    I just looked at the squad, we have 27 players (26 if Matty is not required to be registered, he turned 21 earlier this year, I’m not 100% sure on the exact rules)

    So, if lejeune leaves (as expected)…then we still have a full squad.

    3
  • Mund

    Jul 22, 2021 at 1:22 AM

    Comment #82

    Rumours are Matty is to be loaned out.

    I read Derby and Middlesbrough.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 22, 2021 at 1:23 AM

    Comment #83

    NY Mag,
    That’s excellent news I’m really looking forward to seeing them all in action.

    0
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 1:25 AM

    Comment #84

    Mund,

    A full season playing first team football will do the lad good….I hope whatever happens is in his (and our) best interests.

    2
  • Mund

    Jul 22, 2021 at 1:26 AM

    Comment #85

    Agreed NY

    1
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #86

    Jail,

    I’m a bit lost on that one…….I’m pretty sure you’re being sarcastic, but I’m not exactly sure about which point?

    2
  • lesh

    Jul 22, 2021 at 2:31 AM

    Comment #87

    Wor B

    Our latest Disco Dan’s ‘just making notes’. Notes? Boom boom!

    😀

    3
  • lesh

    Jul 22, 2021 at 2:43 AM

    Comment #88

    Night all.

    Take care

    1
  • Just a Skinny Steve Bruce

    Jul 22, 2021 at 3:42 AM

    Comment #89

    Lemina is OK value at 4m. But he’s a bottom third standard of player and not much better than what we have. Hayden is possibly better, and Longstaff could be under a good manager.

    Last season we had 3 thouroghly mediocre/ poor right backs because we kept chasing the cheap option. Now it seems we will have tonnes of cheap mediocre midfielders.

    We will have Hayden, Hendrick, Shelvey, Longstaff, possibly Lemina, and an out-of-position Almiron.

    If we are lucky Gallagher, Willock can play midfield, and the rest can collect wages.

    3
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jul 22, 2021 at 3:51 AM

    Comment #90

    NY, Carroll and Willock are gone. Lejeune is as good as gone, Atsu and Saivet are gone. We have room right now for one, and if we can move out Muto and Matty on loan, surely easily do-able, room for two more. It’s not a big ask of an EPL football club. Literally no excuse at all not to reshape and strengthen, particularly now, after the disappointment of the delay to arbitration. I think we’ll get two for sure, under the circumstances. Be great to get Willock and Gallagher, and we desperately need good EPL cover for Wilson.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:02 AM

    Comment #91

    Ntbt,
    If all those are gone, how many did we have without a squad number last year?

    0
  • bettyswallocks

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:17 AM

    Comment #92

    Lesh………YTS and paid employees all fair game for the pranks. Its character building and sharpens em up you see old boy . You should enter into the spirit a bit more IMO instead of being so tetchy. Give as good as you get is the answer.

    7
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:19 AM

    Comment #93

    Nicky,

    I’m not trying to dispute these things with you, just trying to discuss the realities.

    I still think the squad is full (I’m simply talking quantity, not quality)….we need rid of bodies before we get any players coming in.

    1
  • bettyswallocks

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:22 AM

    Comment #94

    Jail……… Stop worrying about the squad man Brucie’ll sort that oot before the end of the window. Shouldn’t you be be focusing on speculating what’s happening or likely to happen with the “Arbitration Cat”

    1
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:26 AM

    Comment #95

    Jail,

    I’m sticking my nose in a bit (because you addressed the post to Nicky)

    We had Atsu (although given one in January) and Saviet who did not have a squad number.

    1
  • bettyswallocks

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #96

    It’ll be interesting to see if Bruce gets the midfielders he says we’re desperate for now he’s made a public plea. Maybe it was said for Ashleys’ s attention to roust him into spending mode.

    0
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:35 AM

    Comment #97

    Betty,

    I don’t Bruce is smart enough to play those kinda games.

    2
  • bettyswallocks

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:48 AM

    Comment #98

    Ny…….. He’s said a few times that it’s his job to knock on Ashley’s door to demand transfer funds. He might be dropping a subtle hint publicly as opposed to the heavy handed approach.
    Either way I dont think he’s going to get much response from wor Mike who’s as tight as a camel’s arse in a sandstorm.

    3
  • toon22

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:54 AM

    Comment #99

    Just another 2 weeks guys

    3
  • toon22

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:56 AM

    Comment #100

    One thing is sure
    Every penny the turd can rob from the club will be taken

    His tat shops are in real need this year
    It’s what footys all about

    3
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:57 AM

    Comment #101

    Betty,

    toon22 has just responded for me…it’s not often that happens 😀

    1
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jul 22, 2021 at 5:59 AM

    Comment #102

    Well, Willock, Carroll and Atsu had squad numbers I think. All now gone, so 3 down on last term there. Muto back, so let’s say two down, as things stand, with Saivet and Lejeune also gone, freeing up wages, that can be spent, and not surely overly hard to move on a couple more, Muto or Gayle, Matty for example, on loan or permanents, and getting those two or three good additions, filling the available loan spots, if cash is tight. It’s bread and butter football business, is all I’m saying. It’s what clubs routinely do, and after the week we’ve had, what would the club be playing at not to do it.

    0
  • lesh

    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:01 AM

    Comment #103

    Bettysbollocks

    You seem to be one that enjoys taking the pish out of folk. Have you ever wondered why?

    1
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:03 AM

    Comment #104

    toon22,

    At the expense of your wrath

    Have you actually realized that SDI (Frasers) have increased their profitability during the pandemic?

    2
  • bettyswallocks

    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:05 AM

    Comment #105

    Lesh……. It’s more fun than making polite , boring predictable conversation.

    4
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:23 AM

    Comment #106

    Howay betty,

    Let’s not diverge anymore……..keep it clean lads 🙂

    1
  • bettyswallocks

    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:23 AM

    Comment #107

    L..That’s why I like to post on a Geordie football blog as most Geordie football fans like to indulge in pish taking and banter without analysis of the reasons why.

    9
  • NY Mag

    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:27 AM

    Comment #108

    Betty,

    I’m in total agreement with that.

    The problem is………..people 🙂

    3
  • bettyswallocks

    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:33 AM

    Comment #109

    Ny ……… We’re all different but surely if this place has to be sanitised to satisfy the PC Snowflakes then there’s no hope for any of us.

    10
  • Optimistic prime

    Jul 22, 2021 at 7:15 AM

    Comment #110

    Betty

    It’s fair to say there’s no hope for any of us anyhoo

    3
  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 22, 2021 at 7:24 AM

    Comment #111

    Lemina at £4M is a no brainer IMO.

    Get Hendrick out and Lemina’s wages are paid.

    5
  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 22, 2021 at 7:26 AM

    Comment #112

    If we get Lemina, Cajuste and Willock on loan we might have sorted the midfield for the first time in years.

    Here’s hoping.

    4
  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 22, 2021 at 7:30 AM

    Comment #113

    On strikers…

    Don’t rule out Fraser as an option if Wilson is injured.

    He had a wipe out last season due to fitness and injuries but shouldn’t be written off – he was very good for Scotland in a striker role, is fast, aggressive and can finish.

    And, he owes us big style this season.

    5
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jul 22, 2021 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #114

    @Bills

    As a scotsman myself I was really looking forward to Fraser he’s kind of developed this “worky ticket” tag from the toon fanbase which I don’t think is 100% accurate! I think the sending off against Sheffield United was certainly one of frustration I don’t think he likes Bruce either but then who does…..

    When he plays for Scotland he pretty much dies on the pitch with the work that he puts in and he did put a few good shifts in for us last season including both wins against Everton which played a big part in us staying up.

    He does need to get his head right get 100% fit and have Bruce play him in an attacking position rather than defensive midfield or central midfield similar to Almiron its a waste of a player playing them out of position

    5
  • Adamn_92

    Jul 22, 2021 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #115

    Speaks volume of the current state of the club when Lemina is seen as a must buy and a no brainer. The guy is on a downward trajectory in his career and I must have missed something last season as he never really stood out in the Fulham squad for me. He’s a journeyman who can’t nail a place down in any squad enough for them to actually want him. He’s gone from Marseille, Juventues, Southampton, Galatasary and then Fulham. He’s not getting better, he’s getting worse. We should be focusing on Willock and then getting a hungrier player on the up like a Gallagher or Perriera, not a journeyman getting worse like Lemina.

    10
  • Adamn_92

    Jul 22, 2021 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #116

    https://www.geordiebootboys.com/news/martin-dubravka-says-hes-felt-pain-since-december/

    I was all for Dubravka coming back into the team to be our number 1 again, but if he’s been in pain since December why on earth was he playing and not having treatment? Even if he wanted to keep playing, put your foot down and say no and get the pain sorted first. Darlow was playing well so it’s not as if we would have been at a huge disadvantage?

    2
  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 22, 2021 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #117

    Adam at #115

    Spot on.

    We need Willock above all else.
    Gayle + cash for Pereira or
    Gayle + cash for Armstrong

    3
  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 22, 2021 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #118

    Adam

    bruce’s record on injuries at all his clubs is scandalous

    2
  • Mund

    Jul 22, 2021 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #119

    Ashley minimum FC

    No surprise

    Nothing has changed

    Nothing will until Ashley is gone

    It surprises me that it surprises others

    1
  • Mund

    Jul 22, 2021 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #120

    Lascelles in the Championship season played a full season with an injury

    That was under Rafa

    Many players do it but when it’s ours the blame game comes out

    2


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