A handful of Newcastle supporters have been reacting on social media after Sky Sports linked United with FC Lorient prospect Alexis Claude-Maurice.
Supposedly, a source close to the France U20 international has indicated that we have shown an interest in a possible move this summer, but would face competition from West Ham United, Arsenal, and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Sky Sports go on to add that the Gunners lodged a £14million offer over the weekend, which Get France Football News understand was rejected, as President Loic Fery remains fixed on his €20million (£17.8m) asking price.
GFFN even suggest Unai Emery’s Emirates Stadium natives have agreed personal terms with Claude-Maurice, and a third bid for the 21-year-old left-midfielder is imminent.
If true, we likely risk losing out in the race for his services irrespective of our intentions given the lack of clarity regarding Rafa Benitez’s future, and the rumoured interest elsewhere in Europe.
Sky believe Borussia Monchengladbach, RB Leipzig, Olympique Lyonnais, LOSC Lille, AS Monaco, Olympique de Marseille, and Sevilla are all keen on the Lorient product, who scored 14 goals in 35 Ligue 2 appearances in the 2018/19 season.
Claude-Maurice earned his promotion from Les Merlus’ youth ranks back in 2016 and has made 59 appearances for the first-team in all competitions, but was never a prolific talent in front of the goal until the recent campaign.
During the 2017/18 term, the Noisy-le-Grand-born ace – who can play anywhere in attack – made 20 appearances in the French second division, but only found the net three times, albeit playing far fewer minutes; with 599 to his name, rather than the 3,099 set in his 14 goal campaign.
The international stage carries a similar story for Claude-Maurice, with one goal to his name for France at U18 level, and none as of yet for the U19s or U20s.
When Sky’s claim that we are interested in the 5 ft 7 wide man was shared on Twitter, here’s how these Newcastle fans reacted…
Arsenal are bidding close to 20m for this kid. Not even worth posting our interest!
— Mobin Hussain (@Mobs_) June 16, 2019
Have #NUFC ever bought a player after being reported as one of many clubs interested? My heart always sinks when I see news like this…”including NUFC” means “Not a hope in hell”. Genuine question: who’s 1st choice have we ever been?
— Richard Brown (@unclem00se) June 16, 2019
Who would want to come to Newcastle until this debacle is sorted out!
— Julie Shanks (@julie_shanks) June 16, 2019
Can’t even sign a manager???? how are we going to get players.
— Thirly (@D_Thirlwell) June 16, 2019
Heard Arsenal bid 14m and Lorient want around 18m, just not gonna happen
— Adrian (@Adrian____29) June 16, 2019
The number of “links” we have an interest in must be like a daisy chain by now !
— Bri Marsh (@BriMarsh3) June 16, 2019
Aim high eh?? #NUFC
— Andy Hudson (@andyhudson77) June 16, 2019