New Lyon left-back Youssouf Kone has confirmed that he turned down the chance to join Newcastle United this summer.
The Mali international was tentatively linked with a move to St James’ Park over the summer and has now confessed that he received an offer from the club, but says it was an easy decision to leave Lille for Lyon instead.
He claims the Ligue 1 giants won the race by offering him a better ‘sporting project’ – despite the fact we were offering him more money.
Here’s what the 24-year-old has had to say when reflecting on his £8m summer move to Lyon:
“OL made an approach, and I did not think for a single second. I said to myself, ‘I’ll go there.’ The project pleased me. I followed the French Championship when I was in Mali, and Lyon is a team that has always played football.
“If I had looked at the financial side, I would have gone to Newcastle, but I preferred to look at the sporting aspect.”
Thankfully we do have ourselves a new left-back in Jetro Willems (albeit on loan with an option to buy), but it’s hard to blame players for opting against a move to Newcastle United these days given what’s gone on.
Kone isn’t the only left-back we’ve ‘missed out’ on either this summer, with long-term target Stanley N’Soki joining Nice.
He was a player we looked set to sign at one stage, with us agreeing a £10m fee with PSG at the end of July, however it seems we failed to agree personal terms with the highly-rated Frenchman, seeing him join Nice as a result several weeks later.