According to the Chronicle, Newcastle did make a £20m move to sign Alassane Plea, but the club failed to return with any new bid two weeks after it was rejected – allowing Borussia Monchengladbach to sign him for just TWO million more than our original offer.
It’s an unbelievably frustrating approach to what could have been such an important transfer deal, but it’s what we come to expect from Mike Ashley after all.
It makes you seriously doubt whether we actually had any intentions of signing Plea in the first place – especially when the initial ‘bid’ was reported just as the deadline for season ticket renewals was looming.
Stinks of Mike Ashley. Make it look like you're trying – but ultimately 'miss out'. pic.twitter.com/QwARylV8aK
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) July 13, 2018
Maybe we did submit an initial £20m bid, but the fact we didn’t even bother returning with a slightly improved offer says it all when he could have been ours for just a two or three million more. It’s still big money, but it’s peanuts when it comes to an all important striker deal that could be the difference between success and failure next season.
Strikers don’t come cheap and Plea was starting to really prove himself, scoring 21 goals in France last season, so £22m really isn’t that much in this day and age – and it was surely affordable for us given we’re set to receive £20m for Mitrovic soon enough.
Every player has their price, but to hear that we were unwilling to go a penny over £20m doesn’t exactly bode well for Benitez in his desperate search for a proven goalscorer this summer.
You’d have thought we’d learn from previous mistakes after big regrets over Lacazette and Aubameyang – top Ligue 1 strikers we could’ve signed on the cheap before they made it big – but he continues to make the same mistakes.