Newcastle and Dortmund beaten to €25m Plea by record-breaking Gladbach

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The Bundesliga club have swooped for a player there was a good deal of competition for, and they reckon they have signed a gem

Borussia Monchengladbach have won the race to sign sought-after French forward Alassane Plea from Nice.

The 25-year-old has inked a five-year contract with Dieter Hecking's side to end a lengthy battle for his signature, which is estimated to have cost the Bundesliga side a record €25 million (£22m/$29m).

His impressive return of 21 goals in all competitions last season is believed to have sparked keen interest from Newcastle United and Borussia Dortmund, who are coached by Plea's former Nice boss Lucien Favre.

But the former Lyon man ultimately settled on a switch to Gladbach to the delight of sporting director Max Eberl.

"We're extremely glad that this transfer has gone through and we were able to sign Alassane despite a lot of competition from various other well-known clubs," Eberl said.

"Thankfully for us, he wanted to come to Borussia at all costs.

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"He's a versatile, quick and clever forward who has put his talent on full display in Ligue 1 and the Europa League."

The announcement of Plea's move emerged shortly after confirmation Gladbach had sold defender Jannik Vestergaard to Southampton for a reported €20m.

He could be the first of two attackers to leave Nice in quick succession with Mario Balotelli, who has been criticised by head coach Patrick Vieira, the subject of strong transfer speculation.

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