Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez faces wait over Florian Lejeune

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Florian Lejeune has been offered a double your money deal by Newcastle United, as the Magpies look to make their second major breakthrough in the summer market.

But the deal could be held up by his club Eibar’s boardroom elections.

Lejeune has a release clause of around £8.7million in the four-year contract he signed with the Basque Country minnows last summer.

And Newcastle are understood to have triggered that, according to reports in Spain.

But despite the deal progressing well, it could be held up by a transitional period in the Eibar boardroom.

Los Armeros have this week elected new members to the board, and the focus in the halls of power at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium seem to be focused solely on retaining the services of sporting director Fran Garagarza.

As a result that could mean Newcastle’s pursuit of Lejeune, who Rafa Benitez is believed to have set as his No 1 defensive target, drags out.

Former Manchester City centre-half Lejeune has been offered a bumper deal with the Magpies, according to Spanish publication Marca.

And it reports that a four-year deal should be completed for the tall, no-nonsense Frenchman, linked with Arsenal and Tottenham in the winter window.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have missed out on the signing of Ruben Semedo - with the player confirming his Sporting exit for Villarreal.

United had been credited with an interest in the 23-year-old Portuguese centre-half, but the player has opted to shun a move to the Premier League, with Southampton also interested, and head for La Liga.

He told Diario Record: “I leave with the feeling of gratitude, for all that Sporting has done for me, but also happy for this new path that I have chosen.

“Villarreal is an interesting project, a great club as everyone knows and that is what I need at the moment.

Semedo, known to be a back up option should the Lejeune deal fall through, has penned a five year deal in Spain, departing for around £12.2million.

A deal for Tammy Abraham looks all but done. Providing there are no last minute hitches he should sign a season-long loan deal from Chelsea this week.

Brighton were also interested in the 19-year-old, who scored 26 goals on loan at Bristol City last season.

Elsewhere, reports in Turkey suggest Aleksandar Mitrovic is interesting Besiktas. Fenerbahce are also interested in a loan deal for the Serbian international.