With Danny Simpson all but set to leave St. James' Park this summer, the arrival of a proven right-back has become an absolute necessity for Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew.
The Tyneside club made waves last summer with a slew of excellent dealings in the transfer market, with Yohan Cabaye (£4.8 million from Lille) and Demba Ba (free transfer from West Ham United), two of the best players in the Premier League last season, the most recognizable gems.
But it appears that that policy may not work this summer.
Like his former teammate Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy has ridden the coattails of a sensational campaign at Lille, and has vaulted into this summer’s transfer market as one of the most coveted right-backs.
Debuchy’s excellent displays for France at the European Championships—he was regarded as one of, if not the, best French players against England on June 11—have only ratcheted up interest in him.
Newcastle have enjoyed favorites status for some time now when it comes to signing the pacy 26-year-old—Debuchy has frequently asked Cabaye about the climate within the club camp at Tyneside—but after Newcastle saw a £4 million bid for him flatly rejected by Lille on Tuesday, matters may become a bit trickier.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Lille manager Rudi Garcia acknowledged that Newcastle had lodged a bid for his right-back, but quipped that it was so unsuitable that “[Newcastle] must have another player in mind.”
Lille are believed to value Debuchy at £6 million, and while Garcia said that he will lend his full support to a move should it constitute “a sporting progression” that would help Debuchy evolve, he has not resigned himself to losing his first-choice right-back.
“We have not planned to replace him,” Garcia said.
Lille are certainly no pushovers when it comes to transfer business—they just exacted a reported £32 million fee from Chelsea for winger Eden Hazard—and are not in any mood to see a burgeoning star such as Debuchy leave on the cheap.
With Inter Milan also inquiring about Debuchy’s availability, Newcastle could have a dilemma on their hands should they not reevaluate their approach to sealing the Frenchman’s signature.
Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Valencia are also keen on Debuchy, Sky Sports reported, but Inter are the only ones of that bunch believed to have lodged a formal offer.
What do you think?