Newcastle United are today being linked with 28 year-old Olympique Marseille midfielder, Dimitri Payet.
Well regarded news outlet, Africa Top Sports, have suggested Newcastle, along with Spanish clubs Sevilla and Athletico Madrid, are readying €8 million bids for the want-away winger.
The player has recently been a figure of controversy in France, having directed some pretty foulmouthed Ibrahimovic-esque comments towards referee Benoit Bastien after their 0-0 draw with Lyon. And it has been suggested, following a media furor, that he now wants to move abroad as a result.
Payet was caught by TV cameras yelling, “We were f*****, you a**h***” as he passed the dressing room door of referee Benoit Bastien and his assistants after they had not awarded OM what would have been a game-winning goal late in their 0-0 draw to league leaders Lyon.
In spite of this recent altercation, he is certainly a well-established player in Ligue 1, having spent the ten years of his playing career at four different clubs: Nantes, Saint Etienne, Lille and now Marseille. And with 55 goals in that time, all from midfield, there is no doubting his talent.
He has also represented France on 12 occasions, and has recently been called up for France’s fixtures against Brazil and Denmark. He is, in fact, starting this evening against Denmark.
This is not the first time Newcastle have been linked with the Frenchman. We supposedly made an inquiry as to his availability last Summer but, as is often the case with Newcastle, nothing materialized.
Though subject to a bid from Swansea last Summer, he rejected the overtures from the Liberty stadium, admitting an interest in a Premier League switch, but only to a ‘bigger club’.
Whether Newcastle have the mettle to actually table a bid for the winger is another matter. But with rumours circulating in the British media that the incoming Newcastle manager will be armed with “£60m” worth of transfer funds, he may well be one of our targets.