Newcastle’s search for a new forward looks set to come to an end, as the St James’ Park outfit close in on Lyon’s Bafetimbi Gomis. A fee in the region of £7 million, raising to £8.7 million, is said to have been agreed, with a number of formalities the only obstacle to completing the deal.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that the Ligue 1 side have accepted Newcastle’s offer, with a deal potentially to be completed in the next couple of days.
"We accepted Newcastle's proposal. The agreement is now linked to the acceptance of agents' fees. I understand that the problem is in the amount and manner of payment of commissions.
"There are several people involved in the operation, which complicates the negotiations. But I am hopeful that things will be resolved within 24 or 48 hours."
The 27-year-old will add a directness and physical approach similar to what Ba offered, and the France international has a solid track record of scoring consistently in Ligue 1.
A product of the St Etienne youth academy, Gomis got his big move to Lyon in 2009 and has been a feature in the Stade de Gerland side domestically and on the continent since.
Fifty goals in 141 appearances is a solid return, while Gomis has also netted three times in 10 outings for Les Bleus.
Gomis’ goal record is solid without being spectacular, and although it is likely that the French forward will contribute to the goalscoring burden, whether or not he has the ability to be one of the most prolific attackers in the league, similar to what Ba was in his pomp, remains to be seen.
What he will offer is an energetic and physical approach, which partnered with Cisse, will be a handful for Premier League defences next term.
If and when Gomis joins Newcastle, he will become the 11th French player in Alan Pardew’s squad. The North East club has singled out Ligue 1 as a key market in their recruitment drive, and to date they have got good value from signing players from across the channel.
Signing the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa for fees in the region of £5 million has worked out well for Newcastle, as the pair have become key players for the side. The likes of Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa still need to prove themselves after recent moves from France.
Gomis represents similarly good value given his track record and experience playing international and European football. There is no doubt that the fees to sign players from Ligue 1 is significantly lower than buying closing to home.
Gomis will have a league of his countrymen to welcome him to Tyneside, as Newcastle’s French army increases further. The Toon faithful will hope that their new forward can replicate the performances and scoring feat of Demba Ba, and his arrival will certainly give the club added options in attack.
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