Newcastle United could make a surprise £7m move for Southampton’s Mario Lemina, currently on loan at Fulham, according to The Guardian.
What is the latest transfer news involving Lemina?
They claim that Newcastle – along with West Ham – have made initial contact over a potential swoop this summer as the Gabonese star is not part of Southampton’s plans.
Indeed, a fee of around £7m has been mooted.
What are Lemina’s contract details?
The former Juventus man still has two years to run on his contract at St. Mary’s Stadium and it is believed to see him earning in the region of £40k-per-week (via SpotRac).
Would he be a good signing?
While it hadn’t really worked out for Lemina in the Premier League up until this season, he has put in some promising performances for Scott Parker’s side. Indeed, his average of 1.8 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game (via WhoScored) would see him rank joint-third and joint-eighth in the current Newcastle squad, which could help offer a dynamic presence in midfield.
Steve Bruce’s lack of options there were frequently lamented earlier in the season and, while Joe Willock has largely fixed that, perhaps Lemina could be a cut-price replacement should the Arsenal loanee too expensive. Though the Toon boss is believed to be keen to sign Willock for around £20m this summer, The Mirror did recently claim that Newcastle were ‘vulnerable’ in that the North London giants could raise their price for the midfielder after his good performances in black and white.
Clearly, Lemina hasn’t offered as much of a goal threat as Willock this season (scoring just once) but would appear to offer roughly the same in terms of tackles (1.8 to 1.9) and interceptions (1.1 to 0.9) so could at least bring with him some energy if the Arsenal man cannot return next year. While not exactly the most inspiring idea, you can see the logic, particularly for a relatively low fee of £7m.