Remember Boubakary Soumare? He rejected a move to Newcastle United after a £35m bid was accepted by Lille 18 months ago, however he’s now a Leicester City player.
The highly-rated Frenchman signed for the Foxes just a few days ago in a deal worth just £17m – making you wonder why we almost paid double just last January – yet the move could actually be good news for Steve Bruce.
Why? Because it will almost certainly open the exit door for Hamza Choudhury; a player we looked all set to sign just a few months ago.
Widespread reports said we’d agreed a deal to bring the tough-tackling midfielder in on loan, only for Brendan Rodgers to pull the plug on a deal after Leicester failed to sign a replacement on deadline day.
Fast forward six months and he now has Soumare, leaving Choudhury way down the pecking order and surplus to requirements.
There could be problems if Leicester only listen to cash bids – he won’t be all that cheap and Bruce is believed to be working on a limited budget – but I would be shocked if we didn’t follow up our January bid with a second one at some point this summer.
A loan offer with an option (or obligation) to buy next summer, perhaps?
Other clubs could well blow us out of the water if a bidding war begins, however he’s clearly a player Steve Bruce likes, looked all set to sign in January (suggesting he’d be keen on a move to St James’ Park) and at 23 would fit into Mike Ashley’s transfer policy, making him a big one to watch between now and August 31st.