We expect a whole new back-line to be brought in before the season starts and Baines is already known by Steven Taylor and James Milner (two of our best players last season) as all three are starters on the England under 21 team.
Baines is only 22 and made his debut for Wigan Athletic in 2002. He was a regular when Wigan earned promotion to the Premiership in 2004-05.
Leighton Baines of Wigan
Gareth Bale is also available from Southampton but he is quite highly priced (â‚¤10M?) and we think Baines would be better value at about â‚¤5M – especially since he has already proven he can play in the premier league having made 153 appearances for Wigan and scored 8 goals. He has a terrific left foot and will only get better at Newcastle.
Left Back has been a problem spot for Newcastle for a few years now and Leighton would do a good job there.
News is that Martin Jol of Tottenham is also interested in Baines but today’s reports suggest that Gareth Bale will sign for Tottenham within the next 24 hours.
Martin Jol has slapped a 15M price tag on Jermaine Jenas – so he’ll stay at Spurs – that’s utterly ridiculous – but I guess it will keep him at the club.
Jlloyd Samuel has agreed a deal to join Bolton on a free transfer from Aston Villa – he was linked with Newcastle a week or so ago but we expect Big Sam has other fish for the right back position.
Liverpool’s Sam Hyypia has turned down a move to Portsmouth – so if Big Sam wants him at Newcastle to guide Taylor, Ramage and Huntington – the way is open for him – he would cost a nominal fee.
Yossi Benayoun has pledged his future to West Ham by signing a new five-year contract – his big pal Tal Ben Haim is a target for Newcastle.
News that Herman Hreidarsson from Charlton is joining Portsmouth on a two year contract and is Harry Redknapp’s second signing of the summer following Sylvain Distin.Â This shows that relegated Charlton are willing to sell some of their players.
We like Charlton’s Luke Young at right back – and think he would be great acquisition for Newcastle.
Finally – news that Dimitri Payet , currently playing for FC Nantes Atlantique in Ligue 1, is a Newcastle target. No idea if there is any truth to this – but he looks a good player.
Payet has played for the French under-21 team and has just turned 20 years old.
Payet is a speedy winger with tremendous skill on the ball, is 5′ 7″ tall, two footed, so he can play on either flank. Dimitri played 30 times for Nantes last season.
He was born March 29, 1987 in RÃ©union – same place as a certain Laurent Robert – as we recall.
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