Allan Saint-Maximin Tried To Persuade Boubakary Soumare To Sign By Facetiming Him
Newcastle United were desperate to sign Boubakary Soumare in January so much so that Allan Saint-Maximin tried to convince his fellow countryman with a Facetime tour of the facilities.
On Friday Steve Bruce confirmed that the Magpies had attempted to sign the highly rated Soumare and had a bid accepted by Lille, saying, "We had a bid accepted that would have nearly got us to our record transfer eight days ago, but the player wanted to stay where he was."
Now it's been revealed by L'Equipe that, in an attempt to persuade Soumare to sign for the club, current forward and fan favourite Saint-Maximin Facetimed his fellow Frenchman to show him round the club.
Newcastle got Allan Saint-Maximim to FaceTime Lille's Boubakary Soumare to show him the club's facilities in a bid to get him to sign, L'Equipe reports.- Robin Bairner (@RBairner) February 1, 2020
The young midfielder politely declined. #NUFC
Bruce explained how much they wanted to sign the midfielder, adding, "He was our number one target and unfortunately, we couldn't do it.
"We had a plane booked to go and meet Soumare, but the boy changed his mind. He's only young and there's a lot of top clubs who have been linked with him."
Soumaré is just 20-years-old but has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea in the past and is highly regarded and likely to have a pick of top sides in the summer.
The appointment of former Sunderland boss Bruce at the beginning of the season, to replace Rafa Benitez who departed after last season, was met with a negative reaction but the former centre back has done an impressive job.
He's led the team to 14th and seven points clear of the relegation zone. In January he added winger Valentino Lazaro, midfielder Nabil Bentaleb and left back Danny Rose to strengthen their push for safety.
The side were in need of a forward due to a lack of goals and the manager had come under some criticism for being willing to spend huge on a midfielder whilst not getting a striker in.
Bruce defended the transfer policy saying, "There wasn't a striker to be had at that money. Who can we buy who can make a difference to us? There simply isn't anyone who is better than what we've got, in my opinion."
With Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs all struggling to find strikers, Bruce might have a good point.