There is the small matter of Twente’s valuation of around £15million – and it should be noted that it was leaked in Holland in a potential bid to drive more interest in the player. The Eredivisie side are managed by Steve McClaren and the former Middlesbrough boss has been told he needs to sell to generate funds for his own recruitment drive. With Newcastle out of the picture for Douglas, they know de Jong represents their most saleable asset.
With two Bundesliga teams and Benfica interested in him, United’s bid was never likely to be successful. Newcastle have shown previously that they are not afraid to walk away from a deal if they think it is over-priced – and have other targets if their Dutch raid unravels. Yesterday morning also brought further confirmation of an initial offer for Lille right-back Mathieu Debuchy.
The bid – tabled low at £4million – is a historic one and Newcastle have yet to follow it up with an increased offer, a fact that brought ridicule from Lille boss Rudi Garcia.
The French side say they want double United’s offer but Newcastle are attempting to broker a deal for around £6million and hope to use the player’s desire to come to St James’ Park as a bargaining tool. In case the move falls through they have sounded out alternatives, having made enquiries about Nathaniel Clyne of Crystal Palace.
“He is torn between staying with us and playing in the Champions League in our new stadium or going elsewhere,” Garcia revealed on Tuesday.
“If he does go and it is a sporting progression, then we will be happy to see him evolve – but we have not planned to replace him.
“But I do believe that Newcastle have faxed an offer of £4million – but they must have the wrong player.”