It is now being reported in the People that Middlesbrough have had a â‚¤6M bid for Alan Smith accepted by Manchester United and Gareth Southgate is off to Florida â€“ where Smith is vacationing â€“ to try to tie up the deal before competitors Newcastle and Sunderland can do much about it.
We thought 25 year-old Smith was tied up at Newcastle for â‚¤3.5M â€“ reported by the Daily Mirror on Friday as an exclusive. That doesn’t sound like being too true now â€“ and some exclusive! In fact the Sunday Mirror are also reporting today that Shepherd is being sacked tomorrow as part of the whole Newcastle Board being ousted. Our understanding is that Shepherd will in fact be the only one to stay on â€“ at the request of Mike Ashley himself â€“ for continuity at the club (which makes sense to us from a business viewpoint).
The reports are that neither Sam Allardyce nor Roy Keane have yet lodged bids with Old Trafford, leaving Southgate in the driver’s seat right now. Alan Smith has realized he no longer has any future at Manchester and will move on â€“ to which club is still not clear.
While this is the silly season we have to be aware of some of these reports – and we are also guilty as charged for reporting the Mirror’s exclusive. But we thought the signing of Alan Smith at â‚¤6M was good business – and while â‚¤6M is closer to what he’s worth – Newcastle could still end up signing Alan.