Should Newcastle United Go Back in for Bafetimbi Gomis in January?
Newcastle United’s pursuit of Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis was one of football’s worst kept secrets this summer, and for a while the move looked destined to happen.
But when deadline day came and went—and the 28-year-old remained at the Stade de Gerland—Magpies fans were left scratching their heads in bewilderment.
In the days that followed the closure of the transfer window, a trickle of information surrounding the on-off deal quickly became a flow.
The player himself, who is out of contract at the end of this season, claimed the Toon had asked him to take a pay cut in order to sign on the dotted line at St. James’ Park via the Daily Express.
A carrot was then dangled by Graeme York in the Daily Mail, who suggested the move could be resurrected in January amid fears Lyon could lose him on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign.
Despite Gomis’ vow to remain in Ligue 1 until his current deal expires, these claims were then backed up by Lee Ryder in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
So the burning question on Tyneside is whether Newcastle should go back in for the forward once the window reopens?
The France international has endured a slow start to the current campaign and is yet to rediscover the kind of form that saw him voted 2012’s Player of the Year by Lyon’s fans.
His record of 26 goals in 50 games last year saw Gomis’ value rocket, but his refusal to renew his contract with Remi Garde’s men has left a bitter taste, both for the club and the player.
Outspoken OL president Jean-Michel Aulas is keen to recoup some of the €15 million he paid to Saint-Etienne for the attacker back in 2009, and played an active role in trying to move him on.
And it seems 2012-13’s top scorer has been left feeling hard done by after being made to train with the club’s second string following months of indecision.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ian Holyman last week, Gomis said:
After what has been done and said, notably that I wasn't part of the economic and sporting project, I can't see myself talking about a contract extension, and I don't think I'll extend my adventure with Lyon.
The skillful goalscorer would certainly be a welcome addition at Newcastle, where options in attack are limited following the club’s failure to strengthen during the close season.
A tall, powerful player, Gomis is an effective presence inside the penalty area, and a reduced price tag for the frontman will certainly tempt United boss Alan Pardew.
After netting over 110 goals in his home country, including three for the national team, he would appear to be ready for a new challenge.
And if Newcastle adopt the same approach that saw them land five Frenchmen during the last January window, they may well get their man before he becomes a free agent next summer.
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