Since the allegations that the arrival of Lille and France international Mathieu Debuchy on Tyneside was imminent, I have been poring over various French sources for details.
This is because it seems that the information coming out of the UK media on the story has just been lifted from a story in French journal, “La Voix du Nord” or “The Voice of the North,” which I translated in my previous piece on this seemingly everlasting imbroglio.
Casting back our minds to the failed bid for Debuchy in the Summer, you might recall that Newcastle United refused to go beyond €6 million (around £4.9 million at current rates) for the €15 million rated (£12.2 million) player, with Lille holding out for €8 million (£6.5 million).
Moving forward to the negotiations for a move this current window, it seems that Newcastle United’s offer was slightly increased. The €6 million basic figure was the same allegedly. However, there was supposedly an offer of a €500,000 bonus (£407,000) on top of this, dependent on appearences, with Lille supposedly suggesting that the offer would be accepted if the bonus was increased to €1 million (£800,000).
Whilst there hasn’t been any formal words from either camp saying these terms have been accepted by Newcastle, it seems to have been assumed in all quarters of the French media that the Magpies have acceded to the Lille’s request, and the final deal will be for €7 million (£5.7 million) including the abovementioned appearence related bonus.
Whilst the personal terms are not known, it has also been suggested that these have already been agreed over the last several days, though just over a week ago, Debuchy himself was quoted as saying:
“The sport situation is not very good at the club now, but I don’t have real desire to leave in January and abandon my team. I would like to end the season here, even if things could happen quickly. No one at Lille has told me ‘you have to leave in January because we have money trouble’, but if an offer comes along and it would satisfy everyone…”
“I have not changed my mind in six months about England and Newcastle.”
As I mentioned above though, there is still no offical confirmation at the time of writing, and it is not entirely sure whether the Magpies and the Mastiffs are still wrangling over that €500,000 extra bonus payment. Pardew’s most recent comment on the matter tended to suggest that negotiations are still ongoing. He said:
“That is the sort of player you would want to see at this club. Hopefully, we can do it in the first week.”
And in an even more explicit quote in todays Chronic:
“I hope that’s the case – but we are still far from a deal yet.”
Let’s hope that Derek Llambias, doesn’t continue to fanny around the way he did last time!