Newcastle United is on the verge of losing out on former Burnley Premier League captain Ben Mee to Brentford, with the Bees set to sign the 32-year-old free agent.
According to the Guardian, the English defender rejected two Premier League offers and an MLS proposal to sign for Brentford, with Mee free to join the west London side following his relegation to the Championship.
After making 217 league appearances for the Clarests, Mee is regarded by many as one of Burnley's finest players in the Premier League era, yet the defender needed a change of scenery as the club dropped out of the English top-flight, with Newcastle said to be one of the clubs interested in signing the former Manchester City academy graduate.
Brentford has won the race for Newcastle's goal, with Ethan Pinnock and Kristoffer Ajer suffering from injury concerns ahead of the new season, which has forced Thomas Frank to sign for Mee, who might make a fantastic addition to the Bees.
Mee was one of the best-paid players at Burnley before their relegation to the Championship, yet Brentford are free to pay the veteran centre-back a decent wage in west London.
The move may jeopardize Newcastle, which could have used an experienced Premier League defender like Mee to lead Eddie Howes' back-line, which Dan Burn took up last season as the Magpies won the division in 2022.
Mee's signing by Brentford is a huge blow for Newcastle.
Mee has proven to be one of the best Premier League captains in recent seasons, and Brentford's acquisition of the veteran defender is a major coup for Frank, who now has an established leader both on and off the pitch, something that Newcastle might have benefited from.
After all, while Newcastle is working on an incredible project, surrounding the squad with players to keep the team grounded would have been a unique and effective strategy to take the club, something Mee would have brought to the Toon if they had moved to sign the defender over Brentford.