The report which hints at Newcastle United’s return to Mike Ashley's restrictive transfer policy

Newcastle United’s inactivity in the summer transfer market, so far, is no cause for concern – June is often a quiet month on Tyneside, and beyond.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 12:00 pm
Fulham's Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina (R) vies for the ball against Manchester United's English striker Mason Greenwood (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on May 18, 2021.
Fulham's Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina (R) vies for the ball against Manchester United's English striker Mason Greenwood (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on May 18, 2021.

However, a return to an old Mike Ashley-enforced transfer policy might place further strain on what was already set to prove a difficult month or two for Steve Bruce and United’s recruitment team.

United managers have often been hamstrung by the club’s insistence of signing players with ‘sell on value’. This often meant players heading into their late 20s were overlooked, especially if a fee was involved.

Under Rafa Benitez that rule was waived mostly while last summer acted as the perfect example of where scrapping the policy had a positive impact – with the £20m outlay on Callum Wilson proving crucial to United retaining their Premier League status.

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But, according to a report in the Daily Mail, it looks as if that policy has returned to Tyneside.

The report states that United’s potential move for Southampton and Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina has hit a stumbling block – and it’s due to the player’s age.

Saints are said to want around £4m for the 27-year-old, but with the player set to turn 28 in September, United are not willing to pay the fee. Lemina, who spent last season on loan at Fulham, is available on a free transfer next summer.

A return to the policy of old would put into doubt any Wilson-like move this summer, which would come as a huge blow to Bruce’s desire to chase Premier League-proven quality.