Far from having the greatest transfer window this summer, Newcastle were, at one point, on the lookout for a young left-footed centre back.
Their first port of call, Paris Saint-Germain’s Stanley Nsoki, appeared to either be too expensive or turned them down (depending on the source).
Moving down the list, the Magpies then tried to sign Sikou Niakaté from Valenciennes, who allegedly turned them down once he realised their plans were for him to play in their U23s for a while before making the leap to the first-team.
Already a regular with Valenciennes in Ligue 2, the 19-year-old saw the opportunity offered by Newcastle as a step backwards, and decided to turn them down.
Now, Anderlecht are expected to acquire his services for around €3m, with both DH in Belgium and Foot Mercato in France reporting the news, where Niakaté will reportedly sign a five-year contract and provide competition to the starters in the first team, especially Antonio Milic.
It’s a missed opportunity for Newcastle, as Niakaté is highly regarded in France, recently playing for the country’s U19s in the Euros, but maybe they’ll buy him from Anderlecht next year.
If they do, they’ll just have to hope it goes better than the last time they acquired a centre-back from the Belgian side (a certain Chancel Mbemba).