Newcastle fans react after reported bid for Lille star Thiago Maia

Lille's Brazilian midefielder Thiago Maia (C) vies with Angers' Ivorian defender Ismael Traore during the French L1 football match Lille vs Angers on February 24 2018 at the Pierre Mauroy...

Newcastle are said to have had a bid for Lille midfielder Maia rejected.

Lille's Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia Alencar controls the ball during the French L1 football match between Caen (SMC) and Lille (LOSC) on January 13, 2018, at Michel d'Ornano stadium,...

French publication Le 10 Sport have claimed that Newcastle United have had a bid rejected by Ligue 1 side Lille for Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia - and Toon fans reckon it means Mikel Merino is to be sold.

Maia, 21, midfielder was a mainstay of Lille's side last season, playing in 34 of their 38 top-tier outings and even finding the back of the net on one occasion during a cup game against Le Mans.

Lille's Brazilian midfielder Thiago Mendes (C) celebrates with Lille's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe (R) and Lille's Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia (L) after scoring during the French Cup...

Though a price was not mentioned, the report states that Lille were unwilling to agree a fee for Maia at the offered price, but it does claim that a deal could be reached if Newcastle meet the French club's asking price.

The Toon already boast a number of central midfielders, with Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey forming a decent partnership towards the end of the season as Rafa Benitez guided his side to tenth place in the Premier League.

Mikel Merino of Newcastle United reacts after missing a chance during the Premier League match between Watford and Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on May 5, 2018 in Watford, England.

Newcastle fans reacted to the news that their club had had a bid rejected for two-time Brazil Under-23 international Maia, with some excited that the club could be set to bring in the highly-rated star.

But the majority reckon Maia will be a replacement for 6ft 2in Merino, who has been linked with a move back to Spain. Spanish newspaper AS claim Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao are keen on the former Borussia Dortmund star.

One fan described him as a "wonderkid", while another suggested he would be a "potential replacement for Merino".

 

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