Huddersfield Town apparently missed out on a perceptibly key defensive signing this week, with German side FSV Mainz stealing a march to sign Moussa Niakhate from Metz.
According to French news outlet L’Equipe (H/T Sport Witness), the Premier League outfit approached the player’s camp with a significant offer but were turned down.
The defender is understood to have been linked with several clubs this summer off of the backdrop of a solid season in France, and he’s now set to play his football in Germany with Mainz next term.
This development is thought to be a huge blow for Huddersfield, who are looking to keep their place in England’s top flight, having surprised the masses by surviving last season despite being tipped to go right back down.
— HTAFC Transfer Centre (@HTAFCTransfer) July 8, 2018
All of last season’s newcomers i.e. Huddersfield, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion managed to stay up, but they are all expecting tougher campaigns as of August.
The Terriers, in particular, are keen on signing defensive reinforcements this summer and had made Niakhate a prime target, per the report. However, the 22-year-old has opted against moving to England and will test himself in the Bundesliga over the course of the upcoming term.
Mainz have since tied the player down to a five-year deal, having parted with the sum of €10m in order to secure the transfer.
The versatile centre-back, who can also play at left-back, is expected to improve the side’s collective defensive ability and could leave David Wagner feeling like he missed out on a real coup if he has as good of a season in Germany.