Its almost five years since Newcastle went on a Ligue 1 shopping spree, bringing Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara, Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko across the Channel to Tyneside.
And, in truth, most of the players Newcastle brought in from France over the years haven’t exactly set the world alight; think the expensive flops Remy Cabella, Florian Thauvin and Emanuele Riviere (below).
So reports in The Guardian stating that Newcastle are eyeing Rennes striker Firmin Mubele may be met with a great deal of scrutiny from the St James’ faithful. It is understood that Rafa Benitez’s side are battling Swansea City, Bournemouth and West Brom for the Congolese striker, who is valued at £10 million.
West Brom, managed by former Magpies manager Alan Pardew, will perhaps provide the most serious competition with the new Baggies boss admitting that he wants more ‘firepower’ in attack. As reported by The Telegraph, Liverpool loanee Danny Ings is their top target but, with so many other teams interested, a deal is easier said than done.
The dynamic Mubele, meanwhile, has great pace and has been in decent scoring form for Rennes this season, netting five times in 12 Ligue 1 starts.
He hasn’t always been a regular starter, however, and this should have Newcastle fans asking questions about whether he has really shown enough this season to suggest he could be the lethal centre-forward that would take Benitez’s side to the next level.
Mubele would certainly offer something different to the sluggish Joselu but would he be another French flop or an inspired Ligue 1 bargain?
So far, it's hard to tell. But with Newcastle fans wanting a big name signing, or at least someone with a respectable track record, it would not exactly give off the right impression if they were to make a striker with only five goals to his name all season their priority in the January window.
Even if the takeover does not go through, surely The Magpies could do more with £10 million?