Newcastle have missed out on signing Switzerland international Loris Benito, as the three-cap left-back has joined FC Girondins de Bordeaux on a three-year contract.
BSC Young Boys released the defender at the end of the 2018/19 season, after the Super League side opted against renewing the 27-year-old’s contract, having signed Benito from Benfica in 2015 for £2.7million.
The 6ft, £3.6million-rated full-back had been a regular in the BSC line-up during his final campaign with the side, making 42 appearances in all competitions, while scoring once and assisting six goals in the Swiss top-flight.
His availability as a free agent was thought to have sparked interest in England, France, and Italy, with Watford, Burnley and Inter Milan touted as potential suitors willing to rival Bordeaux and Newcastle for his signature.
The English press even suggested Benito had travelled into London in May to thrash out the final details of a contract with the Magpies, as Rafa Benitez sought to secure upgrades on his wing-back options.
Bordeaux have won the race, though, and announced his capture on Tuesday evening, after the 27-year-old underwent a medical with Les Girondins following his arrival at their facilities on Monday.
French publication 20 Minutes have noted that Bordeaux had been working on facilitating Benito’s transfer to the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux for several months, with negotiations frequently stalling over the wage being demanded by the player’s representatives.
La Liga side Valencia had also tried to edge their name ahead of Bordeaux’s while negotiations dragged on, but Benito was eventually convinced by the project being put together by Paulo Sousa in Ligue 1.