Back in July 2018, the Chronicle confirmed that Newcastle made a £20m bid to sign French striker Alassane Plea.
Lee Ryder then revealed that we lost out on the former Nice star as our bid fell £2m short of Borussia Monchengladbach’s offer, meaning the striker’s ended up in the Bundesliga – not with Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park.
A few years on, Plea is now being linked with a big money move to Barcelona, with German outlet Bild reporting today that the La Liga giants will attempt to sign him this summer after having a €50m (£46m) bid rejected in January.
The French international has been involved in 35 goals in 63 appearances at Borussia Monchengladbach (23 goals and 12 assists), however a move to Barca would be a big step up and another reminder of what could’ve been for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle if Mike Ashley had just backed him that little bit more.
Plea isn’t the only example either. We’ve regretted missing out on the likes of Luka Modric and Wayne Rooney over the years, while Benitez was also heavily linked with moves for Willians Jose and Nicholas Pepe before they became high profile players in Europe.
It may seem tedious and unfair on the Brazilian to keep bringing it back up, but these stories and missed opportunities make it all the more bizarre Mike Ashley coughed up £40m on an unproven Joelinton..