After Steve Bruce admitted this morning that the club nearly pulled off a big money deal for a unnamed midfielder, Sky Sports‘ Keith Downie (and others) have revealed who it was involving.
According to Sky’s North East reporter, we came close to signing Lille’s Boubakary Soumare.
He reports that we had a bid of around ‘£35m’ accepted by the Ligue 1 side – saying the total deal was £45m with add ons – but the 20-year-old Frenchman opted against a move to St James’ Park.
Despite him rejecting us, Downie claims it’s a deal the club could revisit this summer:
Here’s what Bruce had to say this morning about the ‘mystery deal’ we almost pulled off:
“We had a bid accepted that would nearly have been a transfer record.
“It was accepted by the club, but unfortunately the player wanted to stay where he was.
“We were active, but it didn’t quite happen.
“It was for somebody else (not Giroud).
“We had the bid accepted but unfortunately the player wanted to stay where he was so you have to accept that.”
So, it looks like it was Soumare – a top French talent tracked by several huge clubs, yet not the striker we REALLY needed this month.
Does anyone else find it a little frustrating that we’d pay £35m for him but turn our noses up at a £20m deal for Jarrod Bowen?