Gabriel Obertan is to be given a second opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League after being the subject of a £3m bid from Newcastle.
Bright things were expected of Obertan when he moved to Manchester United for an undisclosed fee from Bordeaux in 2009, but the Frenchman has never really fulfilled his potential at Old Trafford.
The summer signing of Ashley Young has only lessened Obertan’s chances of regular first-team opportunities at Manchester United and therefore the time may be right for him to move on.
Newcastle have not enjoyed the best of summers, with comments from Jose Enrique and Joey Barton about the club’s supposed lack of ambition making the headlines.
Things did not improve as Newcastle attempted to complete their preparations ahead of the Premier League season with a friendly against Fiorentina, with heavy rain meaning the game had to be abandoned in the 64th minute.
However, after the match, manager Alan Pardew said: “The Obertain deal is about there. It is a permanent deal. He will have to come through a medical – probably on Monday.”
It is believed that Obertan has already agreed terms on a five-year deal and he will become the latest part of a French revolution at St James’ Park after the other summer signings of Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid.
Meanwhile, Hatem Ben Arfa is already at Newcastle and Demba Ba is another summer arrival born in France, although he plays internationally for Senegal.
Arsenal witnessed great success with their French imports in the late 1990s and Newcastle will harbour hopes of emulating a portion of this success.
Newcastle finished 12th in the Premier League last season and at worst will want to improve on this.
It is 9/4 in the Premier League betting that Newcastle finish in the top half and 3/1 that they win their opening game of the season when they entertain Arsenal.