Newcastle United have reportedly agreed a deal to sign former Sunderland defensive midfielder Didier Ndong from Dijon this summer.
According to an exclusive report by Gabonese news outlet L’Union, Gabonese international and former Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong is set to sign with Premier League outfit Newcastle on June 30.
Once regarded as one of the top young talents in Ligue 1 when plying his trade for FC Lorient, Ndong’s career has fallen off the cliff ever since Sunderland signed him for what still stands as a club-record fee (€20 million) in the summer of 2016.
He went on to make 54 appearances for the Black Cats; however, both of his seasons at the club ended in relegation, first from the Premier League and then from the Championship, while he did little to impress when he was on the pitch.
Ndong’s disastrous spell at the Stadium of Light ended in September 2018 when the club released him for not showing up at training. The midfielder is now plying his trade with Dijon in the French Ligue 2. Les rouges, who took the Gabonese from Guingamp back in 2019, dispensed him out on loan to Yeni Malatyaspor last summer.
The 27-year-old has made 22 appearances in all competitions for the Turkish side this season, primarily as a defensive midfielder tasked to do all of the gritty work in midfield. However, he has recently returned from the loan spell to his homeland Gabon in protest of six-month unpaid wages.
Ndong’s deal with the French club expires in 2023, but he will leave for the Magpies at the end of the current season. The report reveals that Newcastle have offered the midfielder an escape route away from Dijon and back into the Premier League.
It is claimed that the two parties have reached an agreement, and Newcastle will pay Dijon €2 million in two instalments. The player, meanwhile, will be awarded a three-year contract with a weekly pay of €100,000. The report also adds that the deal is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.
However, this move is peculiar for the Toon, especially with the kind of riches that they now possess, let alone the fact that he flopped miserably at northeast rivals Sunderland and clearly had attitude issues in the past.
It seems Newcastle will be more than happy to get quality players on bargain deals despite their deep pockets with the likes of Florian Grillitsch and Boubacar Kamara emerging as potential targets. Ndong, though, appears to be a step back if Newcastle’s objective is to climb up the ladder in the coming seasons, and it is hard to see where he would fit into this strong Newcastle midfield roster.
This has all the makings of a flaky transfer rumour made up by either the player’s agent to facilitate a move for his client somewhere or the second-tier French club to get the player off their wage bill. An ambitious Newcastle should steer clear of this transfer, whatever the case may be.
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