A trio of previously linked players look like they won’t be arriving at St. James’ Park this summer, with Montpellier’s Ryad Boudebouz on the verge of a move to Real Betis, whilst Manchester City duo Fernando and Jesus Navas are set for moves to Galatasaray and Sevilla respectively.
Starting with Boudebouz, Newcastle have been credited with long standing interest in the Ligue 1 playmaker, however La Liga side Real Betis look set to sign him for just £7.5m according to French outlet L’Equipe – a bargain price given the 27-year old bagged 11 goals and 9 assists last season.
Ryad Boudebouz: Created the most chances per game in Europe's top 5 leagues last season (3.5), registering 9 assists and scoring 11 goals pic.twitter.com/Xuh57z9eDa
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 31, 2017
Benitez has also been linked with a move for Fernando to add some steel to his midfield engine room, however the Brazilian is on the verge of a move to Galatasaray according to the BBC, whilst former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas – who was once mentioned as a possible wide man target – has signed for former club Sevilla on a free agent.
Navas was, for me, a bullet dodged, but I do believe Fernando could have added some much needed experience to our midfield, whilst £7.5m for a player of Boudebouz’s quality appears to be a steal – however I cannot blame Benitez for ignoring that option, given our previous record with lightweight Ligue 1 playmakers!