This morning, French First Division side Troyes reported that Lille have signed their young defender Djibril Sidibe, paving the way for Mathieu Debuchy to eventually join Newcastle.
Various sources have linked Debuchy with a move to The Toon all summer, with the Journal suggesting Newcastle’s interest in the French-international as early as May this year. However, after an uneventful month or so, media interest died down on the matter and it looked to be just another story to add to this summer’s rumour mill.
When Debuchy represented his country at the European Championship this year, a handful of stellar performances for Les Bleus saw rumours spark up once again, with Inter Milan supposedly joining the chase. This time, however, there was more conviction in reports and even former French-International and Arsenal star Robert Pires urged Debuchy to sign for Newcastle, according to goal.com.
SkySports reported a few weeks back that the two clubs had agreed a fee for the 26-year-old, but nothing was said on the matter until a few days ago, when Debuchy finally spoke out about his proposed move to The Magpies by telling his current boss, Rudi Garcia, that he wanted to leave LOSC and that joining Newcastle was his priority. Garcia gave in and told Debuchy that he can leave once Lille have found a replacement for him. He told L’Equipe
“Right now I’m stuck at Lille, depending on the arrival of another player. LOSC wants to find my replacement before I am released” and went on to say “Ten, 15 players have been suggested but still it does not go. It disappoints me and it bothers me. It’s been 20 years that I have been here and I have never asked for anything. For once I want to discover something else.”
And so, finally, he is edging closer to his wish. 19-year-old Sidibe was identified as a target replacement for Debuchy by Garcia himself a few days back and, today, it has been reported that a deal has been agreed between the two French clubs for the France U19 international.
These two deals could also open the door for another deal to go through. It’s fair to say that, with a year left on his contract and negotiations at a stand still for months now, Danny Simpson has about as much chance of being a Toon player next year as Mignolet has of keeping Shola at bay next season.
The Debuchy deal could see Simpson move elsewhere (reports suggesting either Reading or Aston Villa), a move that not many fans would be pained to see.