As early as June, it was reported that Newcastle and Southampton were in talks about the transfer of Mario Lemina.
However, when there was talk of money, Mike Ashley had insisted that no transfer fee could be paid due to the midfielder turning 28 in September.
The mail states that Ashley has introduced another age-based transfer rule, which means that no transfer fee can be paid for players aged 28 and over.
Fast forward about five weeks, on Thursday evening (July 22, 2021) RMC journalist Loic Tanzi reported that Mario Lemina had flown to Nice. The midfielder has arrived in France and will sign a three-year contract with the Ligue 1 club.
Yesterday (Friday) tomorrow followed an update from Dan Sheldon, he covers Southampton on behalf of The Athletic, who stated that Nice and Southampton had agreed a deal totaling £ 4.7m payable, including any surcharges.
The Athletic man said Southampton originally wanted £ 8m but accepted that accepting the offer a year before the contract ended was the right move.
The final act of this transfer story ends on Saturday, with Nice now releasing this official announcement confirming the transfer is now complete:
‘OGC Nice are pleased to announce the transfer of Mario Lemina from England club Southampton.
Since his Ligue 1 debut for Lorient FC on January 26, 2013 against Nancy, Mario Lemina has traveled extensively to practice his craft. After leaving France, he played in Italy, England and Turkey. The Gabonese international with 19 caps, 3 goals, this technical central midfielder with a strong personality is also a tireless worker who seeks forward. Today he joins Christophe Galtier’s squad to put his enormous talent at the service of the OGC Schön.
Lemina was already familiar with the Ligue 1 championship after playing 55 games for Les Merlus and then Marseille, for which he played between 2013 and 2015. Lemina was then loaned to the Italian giant Juventus before moving permanently to La Vecchia Signora and playing 42 games with Juve. competed and won two Scudetti in 2016 and 2017.
At the end of his period in Serie A, the player became the 2013 U20 World Champion with France and moved to Southampton, where he spent two seasons before being loaned out to Galatasaray and Fulham in succession.
As a player with a lot of Champions League experience, Lemina has 220 professional appearances in all competitions.
The gym wishes him a warm welcome! ‘
Mike Ashley had already insisted in June that Southampton should take one or more of Newcastle’s unwanted players in exchange without paying a penny in a transfer fee. Unsurprisingly, the talks ended and no deal was made.
However, late Wednesday evening / Thursday morning this week brought new allegations that a last minute Newcastle deal for Mario Lemina to sign was revived.
The Mail said that talks between Southampton and Newcastle United have resumed, with Mike Ashley now accepting to some extent how desperate NUFC is after some better quality signings. The club owner has now approved an offer of £ 4 million for Mario Lemina.
Who knows what Newcastle United / Mike Ashley were up to but regardless, Mario Lemina went elsewhere. Nice to offer a £ 4.7 million package that Ashley probably doesn’t match or would be better than Ashley.
We are now only three weeks away from the new season and on day 46 of the transfer window without a single commitment.