Newcastle United

Mohammed Salisu: Why his January move to Newcastle fell through

Graeme Bailey
Mohammed Salisu was a target for Newcastle
Mohammed Salisu was a target for Newcastle / Naomi Baker/GettyImages
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Newcastle United saw a deal for centre-back Mohammed Salisu fall through because of Southampton's change of ownership, 90min understands.

Sources have confirmed that Salisu was a player picked out early by Newcastle's new owners as a top target in late 2021.

The deal progressed and talks took place over Ghanaian ace Salisu moving to St James' Park in a transfer worth around £40m including add-ons and bonuses.

Newcastle hoped to finalise things in the opening week of the January window, but the arrival of new owners at Southampton put a stop to things.

Serbian billionaire Dragan Solak, the businessman behind TV operator United Group, fronted a takeover at St Mary's on 5 January, and one of Solak's first orders of business was to approve or block Salisu's proposed exit.

And the new organisation wasted little time in cancelling the transfer, identifying the 22-year-old as a key part of both the present and future of the club.

Newcastle soon turned their attention to other targets. They eventually landed Brighton's Dan Burn in a £13m deal on deadline day, but suffered a number of other failures before landing the Northumberland native.

A pursuit of Lille's Sven Botman ended in disappointment as the reigning Ligue 1 champions made it clear they did not want to sell, while Botman himself was unsure of making the move halfway through the season.

Newcastle also spent a huge amount of time on a deal for Sevilla's Diego Carlos. The Brazilian was keen to move and his agents pushed hard, but like they did with Chelsea and Jules Kounde in the summer before, Sevilla refused to let the player go and told Newcastle that his release clause of over £60m needed to be triggered - something the Magpies refused to do.

Salisu is understood to remain on Newcastle's wish list, but whether they attempt to sign him again in the future will likely rely on avoiding relegation from the Premier League this season.

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