NEWCASTLE will NOT sign Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina this summer, according to reports.
It is believed owner Mike Ashley has turned down a £4million deal to sign the player because he doesn’t want to invest in a 27-year-old.
According to the Daily Mail, Ashley is reluctant to pay a fee for Lemina – who turns 28 in September – due to his age.
The ex-Juventus star is out of contract in 12 months’ time and the Saints will reportedly sell him for just £4m this summer.
Ashley is believed to be willing to sign Lemina in a swap deal – but Southampton are not interested in signing one of Newcastle’s players.
The owner’s decision has not gone down well with the club’s supporters on social media, with one tweeting: “If he won’t pay £4m for a 27-year-old, then we may as well all go home now.
“I get not blowing loads on players with no re-sale value but £4m!?”
While another wrote: “It seems after six months of scouting, Newcastle have come to realise that Mario Lemina is not Benjamin Button.”
One long-suffering fan found the funny side of the transfer saga, though, tweeting: “Now that’s a proper Newcastle transfer rumour.”
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Most Newcastle supporters are against Ashley’s controversial ownership of the club.
Since the businessman’s takeover in 2007, the Magpies have been relegated twice from the top flight and qualified just once for Europe.
Newcastle had been competitive in the Premier League prior to Ashley’s arrival, achieving four top-seven finishes in the previous six seasons.
Lemina has not played for Southampton since the 2018-19 season after spending the last two years on loan at Galatasaray and Fulham.
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He impressed for the relegated side last term, playing 28 games to reportedly capture Newcastle’s interest.
The midfielder was signed by Southampton in August 2017 for a club record fee of £15.4m, going on to make 46 Prem appearances in his first two years at St Mary’s.
Lemina has previously played for Lorient, Marseille and Juventus, winning two Serie A titles during his spell at the latter club.
He plays his international football for Gabon, picking up 19 senior caps to date.
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