“It was done” – Manager names NUFC player he ‘almost’ signed on deadline day – & reveals why deal fell through

Tony Mowbray has opened up about Blackburn’s deadline day attempts to sign Christian Atsu – claiming the deal was on one minute then off the next.

Rovers were heavily linked with a late move for the 28-year-old – who was also linked with Celtic, Nottingham Forest, West Brom and Fulhma – however it came out late on Friday that he’d remain on Tyneside to ‘fight for his place’.

That said, it sounds like Blackburn believed they’d got their man at one stage on deadline day – despite his salary demands being ‘way out of their league’.

Here’s what Mowbray’s had to say, suggesting his ‘family situation’ and eagerness to remain in the Premier League ended their hopes:

“Ultimately, we were going to spend a lot of money on a Premier League footballer who had become surplus a little bit because of a new signing that club had.

“His salary was way out of our league, and yet that deal almost happened but in the end that player didn’t want to leave a Premier League club and his family situation dictated, so he didn’t come.

“I don’t want to talk specifics but it was done, I think, but then it wasn’t done.

“Other clubs come in once they hear of a players availability and they cloud a players mind.”

We aren’t blessed with a great deal of options in attacking areas, but I can’t see Atsu getting many Premier League minutes under Steve Bruce between now and the end of the season.

He’s behind Almiron, Saint-Maximin and Lazaro in the pecking order so may have to settle for FA Cup appearances.

With Oxford away next up, let’s hope he steps up on Tuesday.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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