According to Calcio Mercato, Newcastle United had a £4.8 million bid rejected for M’Baye Niang prior to the confirmation of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s transfer from Anderlecht.
The report states that Steve McClaren earmarked Niang as a target for the Magpies in case the Mitrovic deal fell through. However, AC Milan met their bid with resilience and declared the player not for sale.
The 20-year-old French forward found himself in and out of the Milan side last season, but managed five goals and three assists in his 19 appearances in Seria A.
He is a very promising forward and it is no surprise the Italian club were quick to rebuff the bid from Newcastle and show they have faith in his ability to reach his potential.
Niang or Mitrovic – who would have been a better signing for Newcastle?
As they are the same age, it’s no surprise McClaren considered both when looking for a striker who could be Newcastle’s main frontman for years to come.
Mitrovic has proven himself to be far more prolific than Niang in his career so far. However, the Frenchman has been playing in much more reputable leagues – Ligue 1 and Serie A – than the Serbian – Jupiler Pro League and SuperLiga.
Mitrovic has played in 157 games throughout his career, whereas Niang has just passed the 100 game mark, and Mitrovic will go into Newcastle with nothing but rave reviews from his time elsewhere.
Arguably, Mitrovic was the right signing for Newcastle out of the two and looks better placed to handle the expectation that will be on his shoulders next season.