Former Newcastle defender Olivier Bernard feels that his old club don’t have much chance of luring fellow Frenchman Clement Grenier to St James’ Park this summer.
The Lyon midfielder is believed to be the Magpies’ top target for the coming months after a late swoop in January ended in disappointment.
Since selling Yohan Cabaye to PSG over the winter, the Tynesiders’ form has been poor, with the Les Bleus star having been a key cog in their midfield.
Grenier is seen as the long-awaited replacement for the silky passer by the club, but Bernard – who starred for the Toon’s first-team over 100 times, feels that there is very little chance that his compatriot will move to Newcastle:
“For the money that’s been spoken about (around £10m), it’s never going to happen.” He told the Evening Chronicle.
“I think if he goes, it’ll be for £20m. It could even be a Champions League team.
“For me it will be a surprise if he goes to Newcastle. Sadly it could be a 90% no for Grenier to Newcastle.”
Bernard went on to suggest that Newcastle will struggle to sign any top players and that the missed their chance to do so when they finished fifth a few seasons ago:
“The problem at Newcastle has been that when the club did well and finished fifth they didn’t invest. Now it’s a whole lot harder for them to attract players. We have not done well enough to attract some of the ambitious players. They want to see a club playing in the Champions League or even the Europa League.
“And Newcastle aren’t close to that at the moment. I really think the Grenier deal is unlikely.”