According to, La Voix du Nord, Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia ‘preferred’ to complete a deadline day move to Newcastle United despite interest from Watford and West Ham – however Lille rejected Newcastle’s loan offer for the 21-year old.
Maia’s name was constantly linked with Newcastle over the summer, however it was never clear whether he was actually a genuine target of Rafa Benitez’s – despite it initially seeming as though he was being lined up to replace Mikel Merino.
The Chronicle confirmed that he had been watching him earlier this summer, but also suggested in the final week of the window that Benitez himself had rejected the chance to bring him to St James’ Park – choosing to focus on defensive reinforcements instead.
The Lille-based paper are suggesting otherwise, however. They insist that both the player and Newcastle were keen to have the Brazilian signed before the window closed, however Lille were demanding £18m and not interested in the loan offer we proposed.