According to The Athletic, Hamza Choudhury wasn’t the only midfielder Newcastle tried and failed to sign last month.
They report that Steve Bruce’s ‘primary target’ to boost our options in attacking midfield was Jesse Lingard – only for the Man Utd outcast to reject our offer and opt for West Ham instead.
The same piece also reveals that we made unsuccessful moves for Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba, former Everton ball-winner Idrissa Gueye (suggesting those rumours from France WERE in fact true!) and Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham (who ended up signing for Marseille instead) after a proposed move for Hamza Choudhury was blocked by Brendan Rodgers.
Chris Waugh claims it was very nearly Ainsley Maitland-Niles who arrived instead of Joe Willock.
The Athletic claim Bruce initially contacted Mikel Arteta over a deal for the England international, only for the Spaniard to recommend Willock – a player who he was keen to send to St James’ Park and someone who clearly ticked several boxes in our bid to bring in a mobile, high-energy midfielder.
So, it seems we were busy on deadline day, but had several offers rejected (Villa had no reason to loan out squad man Nakamba) and found several of our late targets preferred moves elsewhere (Lingard and Ntcham) or just didn’t fancy a move to Steve Bruce’s NUFC (Gueye).
After a host of injuries at centre-back have left Isaac Hayden operating in defence, it’s a shame we didn’t land one of those CDM’s on deadline day!