It would appear that months of brinksmanship between Newcastle and Lille have come to an abrupt end, with the French club pulling the plug on Mathieu Debuchy’s proposed move to Tyneside.
Michel Seydoux, president of Les Dogues, has been talking to familiar French football outlet L’Equipe about the negotiations.
“I have decided that Mathieu Debuchy will remain at LOSC,” said Seydoux.
“The offer from Newcastle is definitely not at the value of the player. As the conditions are not met, it is my duty to make a decision.”
That decision does not bode well for those of us desperate to see Debuchy in black and white. This latest twist is just the latest of many in a good old fashioned transfer saga, the like of which many of us thought we’d seen the back of for good.
Alas, here we are again. The question is, are we right to walk away?
Playing hardball is one thing, but the line between clever and stubborn is a thin one. I am happy that we are refusing to be taken to the cleaners over transfers, after all our policy speaks for itself. But it has proven less than foolproof, with clubs now overly wary the second we start sniffing. Who wants to sell a player for £5m and see him sold for three or four times that amount a year or two down the line?
We are going to have to live with that. Of course, we can’t just cave in every time a club digs their heels in, but in this case we really, really should.
Unlike Mr. Douglas, who appears uncertain over a move to the North East, Debuchy actually wants to come to the Toon. Cabaye has said so, Lille have said so, even Mathieu himself has come out and stated that St James’ Park as his preferred destination. An international player in his prime, on the back of a great Euros, and he is choosing Newcastle.
It has been reported that add-ons and such are the sticking point, but those could surely be wiped with another million euros in cold cash. It has also been suggested that Lille still feel stung over the Cabaye transfer and are trying to recoup some of Le Dreamboat’s actual worth. At the end of the day, Lille will sell for the right price, and the longer we linger a few million below that, the longer the door is open for other teams.
My main worry is that Cabaye will be disheartened if we fail to bring in Debuchy – having his best friend here may well have kept Yohan at Newcastle for the next few years at least.
To me, this deal (or the collapse of it) feels like a potential turning point in our preparations for an assault on Europe and the top four.