Journalist reveals the man who was Rafa’s ‘top summer target’ – but we refused to up our offer..

During a piece reflecting on some of the players we missed out on this summer, The Chronicle’s Chris Waugh claims that Alassane Plea was Rafa Benitez’s ‘top target’ and a player he was ‘confident’ of signing at one stage – only for us to refuse to up our offer.

We’ve ended up with Salomon Rondon on a loan deal – a player that is said to have featured high on Rafa’s wish list – however it seems like it was in fact the former Nice striker who Rafa wanted above all else.

He confirms that the club made a £20m bid to sign Plea, but it seems Borussia Monchengladbach showed a ‘greater willingness’ to get a deal done with Nice – with us ‘reluctant’ to up our offer for the 25-year old.

Here’s what The Chronicle’s Chris Waugh had to say about our half hearted attempt to sign Rafa’s number one target when reflecting on some of the summer deals that got away:

“Newcastle bid £20m for Plea – who was Benitez’s top striker target – and, at one stage, appeared confident they would sign the forward..

“But Borussia Monchengladbach showed a greater willingness to negotiate with Nice and, with United reluctant to up their asking price, Plea moved to Germany.”

In the end, Plea cost Bundesliga side Monchengladbach just TWO million pound more than the £20m bid we lodged earlier in the summer, showing just how unwilling Ashley and co. were to stretch that little bit further and sign the striker Rafa was wanting.



Considering our net spend was a pitiful MINUS £20M, it makes you wonder how on earth the board could justify their decision not to back Benitez on this one.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to have Rondon and think he will do surprisingly well, but the fact it’s only a loan deal probably sums up the sort of approach Rafa was forced to take once again this summer.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

5 thoughts on “Journalist reveals the man who was Rafa’s ‘top summer target’ – but we refused to up our offer..

  1. Sharpy17:
    Bollocks!!.Did we even spend a total of £20m, let alone on 1 player.

    Chronicle journos rob a living.

    The point is that he was Rafa’s top target..

    I believe that we bid £20m..but I also believe that we had no interest in upping our offer as we’re pathetic like that.

      (Quote)

  2. I very much doubt that we bid £20 million for one player. We may have made an enquiry and were told £20 million was the asking price so we backed off. Surely you don’t believe we are willing to spend that much on one player?

      (Quote)

  3. I believe NUFC only offered 20M because they knew Monchengladbach were bidding more. They did it as a PR stunt, with no intention of actually following through. If they really had the intention of spending that much money, there were many other players they could have successfully bid on, they could even have bought Rondon’s contract outright, but they didn’t. Chanley and Ashley are duplicitous liars, not in it for the sport, only for the profit and a high profile for their business ventures/advertising.

      (Quote)

  4. Olly Hawkins: The point is that he was Rafa’s top target..

    I believe that we bid £20m..but I also believe that we had no interest in upping our offer as we’re pathetic like that.

    You believe this and believe that, but do you have any evidence? Reports at the time suggested that Spurs also bid for him, so there was never any guarantee we could have got him anyway, but the player wanted to play in Germany, and his club respected his wishes even though Newcastle and Spurs actually bid more than Gladbach. Newcastle didn’t make an improved bid because it would have made no difference – Plea didn’t want to play in England.

    Some people seem to forget that slavery has been illegal in Europe for hundreds of years. Players are not put in chains and led to the market to be sold to the highest bidder. They can choose who they want to sign for. And cultural, family, language, etc reasons might factor in such a decision as much as money. Monchengladbach is just over the French border, while Britain is about to cut itself off from France.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green