Despite showing glimpses of top-class ability during his 86-game spell on Tyneside, the tricky winger left the Magpies under unceremonious circumstances – enduring a troubled loan spell at Hull City before returning to Ligue 1 on a free transfer last summer.
But the move to Nice has revitalised the 29-year-old’s career; he’s since bagged 17 goals and five assists in 32 league appearances, re-establishing himself in the France national team ahead of Euro 2016.
According to The Times, that has seen Chelsea add the former Toon ace to their expanding list of targets for the coming transfer window, alongside the likes of Rennes sensation Ousmane Dembele and Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci.
It’s further claimed the Blues have already agreed a £31million summer transfer for Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan. Antonio Conte reportedly met the Belgium international earlier this week to finalise a four-year contract that will see him take home £100k per week.
— Titanbet (@TitanBet) April 14, 2016