With Newcastle United stumbling rather than sprinting over the finish line on the back of two wins in eight games, manager Rafael Benitez will surely be even more insistent that the club spend in the summer.
After all, it was a refusal to splash the cash in January that kick-started a worrying drop off, allowing Brighton to steal in and glide to the Championship title while Newcastle glance over their shoulders at Huddersfield Town and the prospect of dropping into the play-offs.
Therefore, you wonder whether Newcastle would be in such a situation if they had taken up the opportunity to sign Ryad Boudebouz in January. The Chronicle reports that The Magpies were offered the Algerian international who, at the time, was available for just £8 million.
However, owner Mike Ashley’s supposed stinginess may have ruined any chances Newcastle had of adding a much-needed creative midfielder to the squad. Thanks to a fine second half of the season, taking Boudebouz’s goals tally to 11 and his assists to eight, Maxifoot report that Montpellier will now refuse any offers below £13 million.
Consequently, there is now far more competition for a player long touted as one of France’s hottest prospects. Boudebouz, who inspired victories over Marseille and PSG this season, has also caught the eye of Everton, according to Maxifoot.
Ronald Koeman may not be in obvious need of more creative options but no player in Everton’s squad other than Romelu Lukaku has scored more than four Premier League goals this season. Therefore, Boudebouz’s eye for goal could compensate somewhat for Lukaku’s seemingly inevitable exit in the summer.
Furthermore, Maxifoot claim that the 27-year-old is determined to sign for a club with European football on the agenda and Everton, almost certain to qualify for the Europa League, could have a major advantage.
Therefore, Newcastle will be hoping that Boudebouz is about as useful as the last sprightly forward to arrive from Montpellier – one Remy Cabella, to avoid a large slice of regret.