Reported Newcastle target Mario Lemina now appears to be heading to Nice.
That’s according to the Northern Echo, who state that the Southampton midfielder is on the verge of agreeing a deal with the Ligue 1 club.
This is a huge blow for the Magpies, particularly because it was reported that a move to St James’ Park was close.
Earlier in the day, the Northern Echo claimed could be completed in the next few days.
Lemina has been a target for the Magpies for a few months now, with the midfielder deemed surplus to requirements at Southampton.
He spent last season on loan at Fulham and was impressive despite suffering relegation.
Had they stayed up, Lemina would have completed a permanent move to Craven Cottage. However, that didn’t happen.
Now it appears that the 27-year-old is heading back to France. He previously played in Ligue 1 for Lorient and Marseille.
The Northern Echo had claimed claim that a compromise over the price is close, with Newcastle only wanting to pay £4million.
Now they state that Nice have made an approach, with the Gabon international opting to snub a move to the North East.
The Athletic have added that Nice have agreed a deal worth £4.7million.
He might not have been the flashiest of signings, but Lemina would have added more depth in a position where we have struggled.
The 27-year-old is a strong runner in possession, and could have challenged Jonjo Shelvey for a place in Steve Bruce’s starting XI.
Some Toon fans were excited about the potential arrival of Lemina, especially for the fee being reported.
However, that excitement has now turned to despair in a week that has already been tough for Newcastle supporters.