Newcastle United are ready to formally test the resolve of Lyon over striker Alexandre Lacazette again in the next few days.
United were quoted a fee of £16million for the French forward a fortnight ago but sources across the Channel believe Lyon would be ready to deal for less now that the season is drawing closer. And Newcastle’s interest has been piqued because the player – like compatriot Remy Cabella – is understood to be keen on a move to the North East.
United know that they have to sign another forward but their pursuit of a top level striker may run through until the start of the Premier League season next month.
The Magpies are looking to sign another midfielder and a proven senior striker before declaring their summer business done but have already been knocked back in their bid for Pierre-Michel Lasogga, who was their first choice target. Lacazette was another priority but the player’s agent complicated matters earlier in the summer.
Newcastle are fishing in a small pool when it comes to priority striker targets – with Lacazette joining Loic Remy as one of the forwards they are keen to talk to. United have a ‘Plan B’ but they will not lavish millions on players they have not watched extensively – and they have already turned down the chance to sign Enner Valencia, who has subsequently joined West Ham United.
Although that policy may lead supporters to fear no front-line forward joining in the close season, there is no way they will move away from the policy that has served them well in managing to capture long-term targets like Siem de Jong and Cabella for a fraction of the price they were originally quoted for the pair.
Indeed United are understood to have mothballed interest in Clement Grenier after signing Remy Cabella and Siem de Jong this summer – but there remains a long-term watching brief when it comes to the playmaker.
The midfielder missed training on Monday but Lyon insist there is nothing untoward about that. The club said in a statement: “Clement was not training because of a program of rehabilitation after his injury.”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Riviere has been backed to plug the goalscoring gap by defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – if no forward joins him on the books.
The Monaco striker was signed as a player with potential but made a scoring start to life in black and white and the defender says that he has been impressed by the way he has settled into the club.
“The club did well to get Manu,” Yanga-Mbiwa told the club’s official website.
“He has looked good so far and will get more confidence the longer he is here. I have played against him a lot of times in France and also in the national team at youth level.”