Newcastle in talks with Southampton over a £4m move for Mario Lemina with club staff convincing Mike Ashley to revive the deal after he pulled the plug over the midfielder’s age
- Newcastle are back in talks with Southampton over a move for Mario Lemina
- The Magpies were keen to sign the 27-year-old in a swap deal last month
- But the Saints would prefer to cash-in on the £4million midfielder
- Mike Ashley pulled the plug on a deal due to Lemina’s age but changed his mind
Newcastle have revived talks over a £4million move for Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina and hope to reach agreement this week.
Newcastle tried to sign the 27-year-old last month, offering players in a swap deal, but Southampton were keen to bank cash for Lemina who has just one year left on contract.
However, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley pulled the plug as he didn’t want to pay a fee for a player over the age of 27 and Lemina turns 28 in September.
Newcastle have revived talks over a £4million move for Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina
Now club staff have managed to convince Ashley that, in a competitive market, it is a deal worth breaking protocol for.
Lemina was impressive on loan at Fulham last season and was highly recommended by scouts who have convinced manager Steve Bruce he can make a big difference to their side next season.
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.
Mike Ashley pulled the plug as he didn’t want to pay a fee for a player over the age of 27 but club staff convinced him to change his mind
Talks were ongoing on Wednesday with Newcastle understood to be offering a three year contract.
Newcastle have been eager to bolster their midfield with FC Midtjylland’s £10m-rated Sweden international Jens Cajuste and Arsenal’s Joe Willock among their prime targets. Manager Bruce also likes Watford’s Will Hughes but it is understood he is not favoured so much by the recruitment department.
Arsenal are still to decide what to do on Willock but are likely to sell for over £20million in a bid to offset their own spending. Ashley is willing to bankroll certain signings notably good young talents with re-sale value but is much more circumspect regarding older players.
Arsenal have made offers up to £32m for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and want a creative midfielder. They are looking to sell other fringe players such as Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are also likely to be offloaded
Lemina was impressive during his loan spell at Fulham last season and has an offer from Nice
Meanwhile, Southampton are signing highly-rated young Chelsea defender Dynel Simeu in a deal worth up to £1.5million plus a sell-on fee. Simeu, 19, is a free agent as his contract expired last month but Chelsea were due compensation.
Southampton look set to miss out on Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year Tino Livramento though as the full-back is close to joining Brighton.
Midfielder Myles Peart-Harris, 18, has also rejected a contract with Chelsea with Brentford close to reaching an agreement.