Last month, it was reported that Mike Ashley had ‘pulled the plug’ a £4m move for Mario Lemina, as he didn’t want to pay a fee for a player turning 28 in September.
This came from The Mail’s Simon Jones, however the same journalist is now claiming that the NUFC owner has had a change of heart.
According to Jones’ latest piece, we are back in talks with the Southampton midfielder after club staff persuaded Ashley that a £4m move for the former Juventus talent is a ‘deal worth breaking protocol for.’
Lemina is in the final year of his contract at Southampton and has attracted a £3.5m bid from OGC Nice, however The Mail claim we are now hoping to reach an agreement with the Saints ‘this week.’
The Gabon international impressed during a loan spell at Fulham last season and comes ‘highly recommended’ from Newcastle United scouts; who are believed to have told Steve Bruce that the midfielder can ‘make a big difference’ to our side heading into the 2021/22 season.
The report states that talks were ongoing as of Wednesday, with the club set to offer Lemina a three year contract at St James’ Park.
Is this a move Mike Ashley has reluctantly sanctioned now a Saudi takeover won’t be happening for at least another six months? Who knows, but he could be a handy signing that could add some much needed dynamism to our one-paced midfield.