Mouctar Diakhaby believes he has played his final game for Valencia with Premier League pair Newcastle United and Leicester City making a move for the transfer-listed defender, according to AS.
When one of the biggest clubs in Spanish football paid £13 million to sign Diakhaby from Lyon in summer 2018, they knew they would have to take the rough with the smooth.
At 21, the France youth star was far from the finished article – brimming with potential but about as raw as a pot of lamb at Hell’s Kitchen.
At the time, the expectation was Diakhaby would smooth out those rough edges on the Castellon coast and develop into one of the most dominant central defenders in Europe.
The reality, however, proved to be very different.
There’s a reason why Valencia have put their now 24-year-old defender on the transfer list.
Diakhaby spent most of last season committing the sort of mistakes that should be a thing of the past by now. Be warned, Newcastle and Leicester, the 6ft 4in Frenchman still has a lot to learn – and a lot to prove.
Newcastle and Leicester like the look of Diakhaby
According to AS, Diakhaby has his heart set on a move to the Premier League.
And, although he knows regular game time would be easier to come by at Newcastle, Diakhaby would prefer to join a Leicester side that will be playing European football in 2021/22.
Both clubs are understood to have submitted requests to Valencia.
And perhaps Diakhaby’s stance has something to do with the fact that, under Brendan Rodgers, a host of talented youngsters have blossomed into top-level stars at the King Power, from James Maddison to James Justin and Kelechi Iheanacho to Caglar Soyuncu.
Could Leicester do what Valencia could not and help Diakhaby realise his undoubted potential?
It’s uncertain, at this stage, how much Los Che are demanding for the defender. However, Valencia did turn down a staggering £36 million bid from Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2019.