A 22-year-old midfielder touted for big things since emerging at AS Monaco some four years ago, Nampalys Mendy could also be the man to replace Cheick Tiote at Newcastle United this January.
The Ivory Coast international has dealt the Magpies something of a hammer blow in the wake of their 1-0 loss to Stoke City on Monday – a result that leaves the Toon without a win in the Premier League this season and manager Alan Pardew under increasing pressure.
Speaking to reporters in his homeland, the 28-year-old did not mince his words when it came to his future at Newcastle United.
“I want to leave,” he said.
“I’ve spent four years with Newcastle. I think I have reached a stage where it’s maybe time to look elsewhere for a new challenge.”
With the former FC Twente midfielder indicating that a move away from Tyneside could be on the cards come January, the Magpies do at least have some time to look for a replacement.
And the good news is that they may have already found one in Mendy – a player previously scouted by the north east club after garnering praise for his battling displays in Ligue 1.
Only 22-years-old, the defensive midfielder was instrumental in helping AS Monaco return to the top-flight two seasons ago and garnered further praise when he opted to turn down a bumper contract from the mega-rich principality club in favour of a move to Nice.
Citing the guarantee of regular playing time and the chance to develop on the pitch under Claude Puel, the youngster is evidently someone who favours his football over his finances and could be the ideal man to usher in a positive new era at Newcastle.
And after seeing the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko earn call-ups to the France national team on the back of impressive displays for the Black and Whites, Mendy will certainly be tempted to make the step up to the Premier League with the Magpies.
The only question that remains is how much he will cost the club and whether they are willing to meet Nice’s current £10m valuation on their prized asset.
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