According to French League reporter Nathan Staples, recently linked Strasbourg star Kenny Lala would be a brilliant signing for the club – with him describing the Frenchman as ‘Ligue 1’s most consistent full-back’.
The 27-year-old defender – who can operate at left-back or right-back – is said to be one on Rafa’s list of targets this month, and he could be available at a reasonable price given he’s out of contract in the summer.
Reports in France claim that we’ve made an approach for Lala, however Real Betis have also been linked with a £7m move to sign him this month.
Here’s what GFN’s Ligue 1 expert told The Chronicle when asked about Lala’s potential move to Tyneside:
“Lala has come on leaps and bound over the past few years and is likely Ligue 1’s most consistent full-back,”
“He excels up the pitch, his three goals and six assists this season will attest to that and is arguably Strasbourg’s best player at making something happen.
“Decent going back as well, to the point where he’s even been linked with a call-up to the French national team. He’s a right-back and while full backs can be pretty interchangeable, he’s much stronger and more accustomed to that side of the pitch.
“He’s at a good club that have had a great start to the season and surprisingly for smaller sides in Ligue 1, has a well-developed plan in becoming a mainstay in the division with a goal to be challenging for European places sooner rather than later.
“Wages will be an incredible incentive to leave but at the same time, the Alcase side will not let him go cheaply. They’ve rumoured to have turned down a £7m from Real Betis.
Given he’s set to be available on a free in a few months, any offer from us would no doubt be a cheeky one, but the prospect of signing a versatile full-back who’s rated as one of the top players in his position in France for less than £10m may just appeal.
We shall see, but a player from France who’s out of contract in the summer and set to be available at a reasonable fee sounds like one of few deals we may pursue this month.