Rafa Benitez has urged the club to do deals ‘quickly’ in order to secure his top targets this summer – admitting that Alassane Plea was a ‘one of the names’ on his wish list but a player the club failed to sign.
The 25-year-old completed a £22m move to Borussia Monchengladbach just last week, however it was made quite clear by both Sky and the Chronicle that he was one of Rafa’s top attacking targets.
A bid of £20m was reported, but it’s emerged since that we made no efforts to up that offer after it was rejected – allowing him to seal a move to Germany for just £2m more than we were prepared to pay.
Here’s what Rafa’s told the Chronicle when asked if Plea was an example of someone we missed out, suggesting that the Frenchman was someone he wanted – but ultimately a player the club refused
“He was one of the names on the list.”
“Always in the window, you have to do things quickly; if not, you’re losing your targets, and then you go, later on, to players that maybe are not as good as you are expecting in different positions.”
“If not, you go deeper and deeper (down the list of targets).”
Plea scored 21 goals last season in France. Although the standard of Ligue 1 is questionable, his goalscoring record was impressive and he seemed like a player with potential to do well in the Premier League.
It’s clear that he was someone Rafa wanted, but it’s also clear from these comments that the club took too long – leaving us to fight for his second, third and fourth choice targets instead.
No doubt this is why we’re now looking at the likes of Salomon Rondon – a player who Rafa may like, but someone who is clearly not top of the pile when it comes to his preferred targets.