As ever, these transfer stories should be met with caution given what’s going on (or not going on!) regarding Rafa’s future and a potential takeover, but this sounds like just the sort of deal we would pursue under Mike Ashley.
A) he’s young (21) and fits into Ashley’s buying policy B) he’s shown real potential (e.g sell on value if you’re Mike) with 13 goals in a struggling Ligue 1 side last season and C) he’s now available on the cheap after Guingamp’s relegation.
We’ve now missed out on one of Rafa’s reported ‘top targets’ in Wesley Moraes, with him set for a £22m move to Villa, however a £7m deal for a relegated player available on the cheap sounds about right when you look at how we’ve tended to do our business over the past year or two.
Just look at the deals we’ve done recently. Several of the following have been superb buys, but Schar, Rondon, Fernandez and Ki had all just suffered relegation with Deportivo, West Brom and Swansea respectively before signing for a combined total of little over £7m.
Thuram, 21, does look a talent, being a 6ft 3′ forward capable of playing up top or out wide, with him just earning his first call up to the French U-21 set up after his 13-goal season with Guingamp.
He could be a very shrewd signing, but it would sum up our ambition and lack of spending power under Ashley if we decided to ignore £16.5m deals for Rondon or £22m moves for Wesley to instead look at a young talent available on the cheap after relegation.