By Danny Wright
Ligue 1 side Marseille were looking to sign Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic during the summer transfer window, according to a report.
French news outlet Walfoot claims that the European giants were eager to sign an attacker before the window closed and their searched led them to Mitrovic, 22, before they eventually snapped up Konstantinos Mitroglu from Benfica on deadline day.
It is understood that Marseille approached Newcastle with enquiries about the Serbian international on multiple occasions as the deadline neared.
The report adds that the Ligue 1 side’s manager Rudi Garcia is a big fan of Magpies attacker Mitrovic from his time at Anderlecht prior to his switch to St. James’ Park.
Rafa Benitez endured a tough summer where he largely was unable to strengthen his Newcastle squad to the level that he would have hoped after initially being promised by Mike Ashley that he was going to get full financial flexibility in the transfer market.
However after only those considered as deadwood were shifted on and just a few minor additions were made to the first-team, the squad isn’t too dissimilar from the one that won the Championship title last term.
Football Insider Verdict
It’s a good job that Newcastle didn’t sell Mitrovic because they seemed completely unable to bring in anyone else that could improve the first-team all summer. The only player who has stepped into Benitez’s immediate plans is Florian Lejeune as all his other recruits have either been sat on the bench in the opening weeks of the season or only starting due to injury or suspension. It’s been a very rough summer for the Magpies and the aim of survival could be looking like their only hope despite winning 3-0 against West Ham last time out. Time will tell if players like Jacob Murphy or Joselu can step up to the plate because on paper they don’t seem as effective as existing options in their role.
In other Newcastle news, a report has detailed what is keeping Benitez at St. James’ Park despite interest from West Ham.