Well, back in early March, I
wildly speculated reported that Stade de Reims midfielder, Romain Amalfitano, had signed a pre contract agreement with Newcastle United. In truth, I wasn’t quite the first to report it. The Independent ran a fairly insignificant story reporting that Derek Llambias was “happy” with the club’s latest set of accounts, but tacked on to the end was this:
“The club yesterday completed the signing of the French winger Romain Amalfitano from Reims on a three-year deal.”
Which was odd. No one seemed to take a blind bit of notice of it at the time apart from yours truly, so I did some background research on it, eventually tracking back to this story from the in France sports journal, “L’Equipe”, which went as follows (according to my rough as a bear’s arse French translation):
“Scoring three times this season with Reims, who will rise, Romain Amalfitano will have caught the eye of recruiters from Newcastle, who will recruit for next season. According to our information, a three year contract has been proposed to the young attacking midfielder (22 years old). He arrived in Champagne in 2010 from Evian Thonon Gaillard F.C. and will be out of contract in June.”
Now, the story has been resurrected once again in the English media, who are going mostly on the latest piece of gossip from the same L’Equipe, published yesterday (24th April). For your information, here’s what that one says (once again, rough as a bear’s arse translation by myself), so you can make up your own mind
“Out of contract in Reims, Romain Amalfitano will not stay in Champagne next season, even when promoted to Ligue 1. As announced last February and after getting confirmation, the 23 year old midfielder will join Newcastle where he has signed a contract until June 2015. Watched by the Magpies for two months, the former player of Evian-TG did not want to let this opportunity pass. He will have to fight to get a place in a team that could play the C1 (Champions League) next season.”
Well, who needs Champagne when he can have a bit of the old brown dog to whet his whistle!
However, the player himself has damped down the speculation, seemingly keeping his options open at the moment. He had this to say on the subject of his “siging” to Sky Sports:
“It would be a dream come true, but also a big step from Ligue 2 in France to the Premier League,” he told Sky Sports.
“I know there is a lot of reports that I signed for Newcastle but I have contacts with other clubs as well.
“I think my good season in the Ligue 2 has impressed many scouts in Europe’s top league.
“Everyone will know at the end of the season where I will be playing my football next season.”
Finally, to sum up, although 22, Amalfitano would certainly not be a “major” signing for the club like, say, Cisse, Ben Arfa or Cabaye, but more of a “one for the future,” and a handy body to have in the squad like Mehdi Abeid. Below is a video of him which I also published in my previous Amalfitano story. He’s in action for the Champagne Charlies at home in the Coupe de France (French Cup), throwing a canny cross or two into the box and scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Montpellier.