Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina has reportedly arrived in France tonight ahead of a move to Nice. Newcastle had recently reopened talks for the 27-year-old after Mike Ashley refused to sanction a cash deal last month.
RMC Sport journalist Loic Tanzi, who initially reported Newcastle’s interest in Midtjylland’s Jens Cajuste, has tweeted the following which roughly translates to:
Mario Lemina arrived in Nice this evening to commit for three years with OGC Nice in the coming days
— Loïc Tanzi (@Tanziloic) July 22, 2021
Reports varied on how much Southampton wanted for Lemina, who in 2017 was their record signing from Juventus for £15.4m. Nice had been negotiating a deal for the Gabon international for some time.
On Wednesday evening, The Mail broke the news of Newcastle re-entering talks for the midfielder. Simon Jones wrote the following in his report:
Lemina has a good offer from Nice who have bid around £3.5m so Newcastle have had to move swiftly to try and convince him to remain in the Premier League.
It appears that Newcastle did not move swiftly enough to convince Lemina to come to Tyneside. Tutto Mercato journalist Marco Conterio is claiming that Nice will pay just €4m for the midfielder, which equates to around £3.5m.
— Marco Conterio (@marcoconterio) July 22, 2021
This has been a very disappointing week for Newcastle fans. Any resolution to the stalled takeover has been delayed until next year. Joe Willock’s return doesn’t look to be imminent which was hinted at in reports last week. Young phenom Bobby Clark could be poached by Liverpool. Now we’ve lost out on a quality midfielder due to Ashley’s restrictive transfer policy.