After being relegated last season, Newcastle United fans were left disappointed once again but the news of Rafa Benitez deciding to stay on as their manager and guide the team back to the Premier League from the Championship was a massive boost. The Spanish manager has already made some signings and do have a clear blueprint in front of him to get the club back in shape and into the top tier. There have already been some changes in the squad with some big names in Coloccini, Wijnaldum, Townsend and Cisse leaving the Magpies and players like Isaac Hayden, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle coming in. The latest player whose future at the Sports Direct Arena is up in the air is Florian Thauvin.
Thauvin was brought in by Newcastle as a replacement for Remy Cabella in 2015. The 23-year old signed a five-year deal at the club for a reported fee of £15m. The young winger wasn’t able to perform well and after a string of inconsistent performances, Newcastle loaned him to his previous club Marseille in January for the rest of 2015/16. After managing just three starts for Newcastle, the player did make sixteen appearances at the Velodrome and also scored 2 goals. Thauvin has linked with the squad for Newcastle’s pre-season at the moment but has not played any part in the three practice matches the Magpies played so far. This might be a clear indication that he is not a part of the coach’s plan anymore and might be better off looking for a transfer elsewhere.
In fact, reports have stated that Thauvin’s agent is currently in England and is in talks with some clubs discussing a possible move for his client. Italian outfit Lazio are said to be leading the race for his signature while French outfit Marseille are also interested. The player himself has made some shock claims about not being fully fit when he made the move to Newcastle which affected his performances and also he found it a bit difficult to get used to the intensity of the Premier League on his arrival. When asked about his future the player remarked, “I know that Marseille want me. I have said again and again, Marseille will be special in my life, this club means a lot to me and obviously, we cannot remain indifferent to her interest. This is OM or Newcastle to communicate on the subject. My agent is in contact with several clubs, that’s not for me to speak.
“For now, I am a Newcastle Player.”
Thus, at the moment it seems like the former Ligue 1 young player of the year would be leaving the Sports Direct Arena for the upcoming season and with Rafa Benitez seemingly not keen on handing him a first team place, it will be the right thing for the player to do as well.