Newcastle Reject Michael Chopra off to Sunderland for £5M

Cardiff City have today accepted Sunderland’s £5M offer for former Newcastle United striker and academy star Michael Chopra.

The Gosforth born striker has just returned from Cardiff’s training camp in Portugal – and is already in talks with Sunderland officials on contract details.

Michael’s contract is likely to be much improved over the one he had at Cardiff City because of his 22 goals last season and the fact he will be playing in the Premiership again.


Michael Chopra

Here’s a wonderful example of just how hopeless Newcastle’s old regime were at bringing through local talent. Chopra was always thought to be the next super-star to follow Alan Shearer – but in the last couple of years at Newcastle he didn’t seem to come through as much as everyone had expected – so he was shipped out.

But did Newcastle give him a fair chance – like a run of games in the first team? Absolutely not – and as usual Newcastle preferred the stars they had brought in from outside. When Michael did play he looked what he was – a young player with potential who needed a chance. Also of course – his attitude was always first class having been born and brought up in Newcastle.

So what do we do at the end of last season – we offer him a one year contract – but Michael wanted more security and a chance. So off he goes to Cardiff City for around £500K. One short season and 22 goals later he’s worth ten times that amount – a £5M player – and would you believe our local rivals Sunderland and Roy Keane are about to snap him up.

We think Michael’s shown a lot of class in the way he came fighting back last season to save his career – and it looks like he was successful. Let’s just hope he will not punish Newcastle for the chances we didn’t give him. Lo and behold if he should score against us next season. 🙁

As we said earlier we think it shows just how hopeless Shepherd and Roeder were in leading Newcastle – both from a playing and a business perspective. We need to give our own young lads a chance – and hopefully that will happen with the new regime. To make matters worse it was announced later this afternoon that there was no sell-on clause agreed last year – so Newcastle will not get absolutely nothing of  the £5M fee Sunderland are paying Cardiff.   Well, that was the level of management at the club last year – the good news is we now have real business people in charge at the club and a very sage manager in Sam Allardyce.

Cardiff boss Davey Jones said today:

“I am sorry to see him go, everybody in the camp is,”
“But we wish him all the best with Sunderland.”

Chopra’s arrival at Sunderland may not be fully embraced by Sunderland supporters as the 23-year-old is Newcastle born and bred. Newcastle fans will not like it that he will be signing for local rivals Sunderland.

We don’t take that view – we don’t think Chopra’s to blame for anything – but we think Newcastle United is. Let’s treat our local talent from now on with more respect – and at least give them a chance before we let them go.

We’d like to hear comments from both Sunderland and Newcastle fans – because we know this view (rant) will not be universally held by fans.

51 comments so far

  • rich

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #1

    lol shows ow desperate sunderland r willing ta pay 4 our former reserve player not much quality in the signings they’ve signed but jus look at newcastle n sunderland n who they'[ve signed much different leag ta buyin players they go 4 low standard we go 4 high profiled players like deco n co n they claim their bigger than the toon army lol wot world they living in lol

  • cityblackcat

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #2

    As a Sunderland fan this seems like a very fair analysis to me. Young talent needs time to come through and you have to give it a chance. It remains to be seen how the lad does with us but his exploits last season were impressive.

    I will be one Sunderland fan who has no problem with where he was born or who he has played for as long as he gives his all for his current team without the shameful schoolgirl histrionics of Lee Clark every time he has to play against the team of his birth.

  • Kash

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #3

    Well done Michael. Hopefully we’ll get half of that fee due to a sell on clause!!!

  • craig

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #4

    I always saig Chopra needed a chance as it was plain to see the talent he had after scoring week in week out for the reserves. The fact that he is going to be playing against us now for our rivals just backs up how last season was so wrong in many ways. The young local talent we have got came in for the overpaid injury prone supposedly experienced players and never put a foot wrong only to be replaced by these players as soon as they were fit. Couldnt the manager see when these so called bigger named players were in the team we never played as well.
    I say good luck to Chopra and well done for moving away and grabbing his chance to prove just how good he is.

  • Jonny I

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #5

    A good point well made. As a Sunderland supporter I expected Newcastle fans to be laughing their black and white socks off that we’re looking to pay £5m for someone you sold for 500k one season ago. And frankly I have a bit of trepidation over this deal – apart from the price tag, he’s almost sure to turn up at Wembley in an anti-Mackem shirt any day now. But, he looked the business last year in the Championship and seems to have the drive and eye for goal that could make him a success in the Prem. Any anyway, scoring more then 5 goals in the Prem for us would be a success after the last two comedy seasons in the top flight.

  • mark n

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #6

    Superb signing, the lad has bags of potential. Also a better player than Nugent and hungry for goals, from a happy sunderland fan. Hopefully more signings to come soon and maybe we will even give your geordie lot a run for your money!

  • Paul

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #7

    Excellent article, somehow spoilt by rich and his predictable swipe at sunderland comment, the signing of chopra represents a slight gamble but this lad looked a real handful in the championship last season and will add even extra pace to the sunderland attacking third, much prefer him to the daft scouser from preston.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #8

    rich – but i think Roy Keane has a good grasp of players – but we’ll see how Michael does in the Premiership which of course is much more difficult than the Championship – but if he gets a chance – which he will – don’t be surprised if he scores some goals for them.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #9

    Kash – hope so

  • graeme dev

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #10

    Good luck to chops, i hope he does very well @ Sundlind but obviously not against us, I reckon we should have kept him and sold Ameobi as it was his running and hard work which helped us gain European football and not Shola the donkey,just shows how naive and incompetent the Newcastle management/Roeder were by letting go a diamond!!!
    Just hope they don’t do the same with Andy Carrol otherwise that would be criminal, but if anyone wants to take Shola they’re quite welcome to him, he`s good at getting the ball down from flat roofs!!!


    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #11

    I’m not sure about Chopra. 22 goals in championship mean a little to me. Saganowski scored about 10 in 12 outings for Southampton but I know him very well and he would never manage well in top flight. of course if Sunderland will play so poor like last times (hope not because I want derby every season) Chopra can be one of their best players (like Phillips some years ago) but still not good enough for bigger club. he had a few chances and did not look well. scored against Dubnica (I was there) been miles off side and that lucky in Stadium of Light and did not impressed.

  • safc69

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #12

    are you for real??? you think that just cos you try and sign high profile players it makes you better. the thing is anyone can try and buy a big name player but you have to have the pull of the club to get them there. lets face it deco to leave barca to play in the rain week in week out, not likely. we could do the same put a 50 mill bid in for c.ronaldo it may be accepted but you think that he would come. no same thing with your apparant ‘BIG’ names. as for chopra i hope he does well and as for him being a reserve team player most players start in the reserves somewhere in there carers lets hope he does the biz and scores a hatrick in each he just did not get a fair crack and showed last season when he did get one that he can score goals so we will see what happens

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #13

    There’s no doubt Michael Chopra is a good professional and will give 100% wherever he plays. No doubt the derby games next season are going to be interesting for him.

  • Ian

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #14

    Hmm, Chops always looked willing but lightweight when I saw him. Quite fast – but not fast enough to beat a good premiership defender. And certainly not strong enough. Maybe his strength has improved given the robustness of the championship – but I doubt he’d ever make it as a regular 1st teamer for us. His stats are 1 goal in 21 games – even Luque beats that with 2 goals in 22 games.


  • ex

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #15

    he’s leaving for 5 m because he just signed a contract extension in april 2007 for cardiff.

  • Nick

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #16

    The transfer fee is not a true reflection on Chopra’s ability but a mark on on the market at present. Chopra has alot of potential and looks a decent buy for us but im not sure he is Keano’s main striking target.

  • Rick

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #17

    I agree with Ian – you only need to look at his record on loan to the Championship when he played for us to realise he wasn’t Premiership class (I don’t think Ameobi is either mind). He played 49 games across 3 loan clubs in the lower leagues and scored 22 times, and scored once for the Toon in 21 appearances. Then he goes back to the Championship and scores a goal every two games. Not good enough for the premiership – unless he has improved significantly over the last year, or Keane thinks he can give him what it takes to be a real Premiership striker.

    Or it could just be that Keane’s building for his Championship squad when they get relegated next season 😉

  • bob

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #18

    chopra is a cchampionship player nd hasnt gt the quality to be a top player in the premiership so lets just watch sunderland crash and burn

  • ex

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #19

    But, with the signing of this contact extension, which would tie him to the club until 2011, Chopra is adamant he will be staying at Ninian Park next season, unless the club decide to sell him.

    It is understood both parties have agreed to a clause in the new contact which means Chopra would not be able to leave the club unless Cardiff receive a minimum fee for him believed to be in the region of £5m.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #20

    If he does sign for Sunderland it’s going to be interesting – to say the least – to see just how he does in the premiership when he gets his chance.

  • Rob Kirton

    Jul 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #21

    Chopra may come good in the premiership. His scoring record in the lower leagues when out loan and then at Cardiff was always great. I am not totally convinced by him, though he may have matured since eaving Newcastle. His lack of first team opportunities occurred under three different managers, Robson, Souness and Roeder, always being considered a fringe player.

    He seems to be what is becoming a typical (for this season at least) Roy Keane Purchase. A bit of a gamble on somebody who has done well in the Championship, who may come good in the prem.

  • Rich L

    Jul 11, 2007 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #22

    I went to Gosforth High and Chopra was a couple of years above me. Everyone who knew him said he was an idiot, he couldn’t do his coursework so he gave NUFC merchandise to people to it for him.
    Regardless of what this blog suggests, everything else I’ve heard about him suggests he has a very poor attitude. Ambitious, yes, but overall, poor.

  • Dustin

    Jul 11, 2007 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #23

    Kash, not a chance. That would mean we had the forsight to insert a favorable clause into a contract. This is NUFC we do the opposite. No sell-on clause. We took our 500k and ran with it. I REALLY hope that was an example of the old regime and something not to be repeated. I hope the papers are right about Deco. Dreamin’

  • Cathal

    Jul 11, 2007 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #24

    do we have a sell on clause on him?? i think it was stupid if we dont! for young players that are sold off lik that on the cheap, we shud at least include a sell on clause of 20%, that could hav netted us a cool 1million in this case! big clubs lik real madrid and united do it so i dont c y we shudnt! any comments?

  • Bill F

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #25

    Good luck to Sunderland, I hope Chopra does well for them. As a Newcastle supporter living down south, I like to see all of the NE clubs doing OK. I remember as a lad watching Gateshead (in the league then), Newcastle and Sunderland and cheering for all of them although Newcastle were number 1.

  • Pete

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #26

    5 Million for Chopra !!!!

    Talk about over paying.

    The market is getting silly, Chopra is a good championship player but is no where near good enough for the Premiership.

  • Geordieboy

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #27

    lol newcastle are on a different planet when it comes to being the bigger club!!! Yes i am a geordie and proud to be one but you ask a scouser you ask a manc and ask a cockney who is the bigger club you will get the same answer. Facts sunderland and european football doesn’t happen. Your saying we couldnt attract a big name doesn’t come much bigger than owen, we got martins, and a lot of quality. if you look at the previous clubs your players have played for then you’s would keep your mouth shut. Sunderland = chopra, toon = owen lolololol its not rocket science!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Geordieboy

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #28

    spot on pete always said chopra a good championship player and to be fair he did get a few chances at newcastle as i remember him missing a sitter near the end against man utd.

    Desperation signing definetley couldn’t get nugent by the way another CHAMPIONSHIP player or any other decent striker as they he won’t want to play championship football next season and thats exactly what he will be doing if there latest signings are to go by.

  • rich

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #29

    hope chops does well lol wtf u on man as a true black n white newcastle fan u would’t want any sunderland player to do well chops is jus another scum player he ain’t no gerodie

  • Kash

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #30

    Michael Chopra could have been leading our line if it wasn’t for messers Souness and Roeder being absolute plonkers! Chopra was rated as a better talent than our very own Steven Taylor. The difference being that Tayls got his chance and Chopra didn’t. Sunderland maybe paying a premium for Chopra, but at the end of the day, he knows how to instinctively put the ball in the onion bag. Not many strikers like him nowadays. Our number 10, Ole Solskjaer and a certain Ruud VN pop to mind when I think about natural finshers. Maybe Roy “I got battered by Shearer” Keane will give Chopra the belief and encouragement to go on and move up a gear. As a geordie, i’m glad he’s taking his chance, and maybe one day he’ll do a fowler!

  • Kash

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #31

    It’s official, Roeder is a TWAT and Shepherd is a WAN*ER. NO SELL ON FEE FOR CHOPRA!!!!! Money thrown away, we might as well have signed Marcelino again!

  • P james

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #32

    OK Chopra is lightweight, but then there are a number of successful lightweights. If he can score 22 against Championship players who are typically bruisers then he has a chance in the Prem. The main battle for him will be psychological. If he wins that he’ll excel. If he loses that battle he can always play for Leeds!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 11, 2007 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #33

    Kash – right – i’ve added it to the story above – but at least the new business folks we have running the club are for real – not like this lot. But it’s really bad that this was not thought through last year. 🙁

  • Steve

    Jul 11, 2007 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #34

    Chops hasn’t showed he can hack it in the premiership despite being given a number of chances, although who can ever forget his celebration when he scored against Sunderland, am sure the sunderland fans haven’t 🙂
    he hasn’t actually signed for them yet, the club have accepted a 5m offer – would he actually want to goto the toons biggest rivals, hold on….prem football, at least double his wages yeah course he would

  • Nick

    Jul 11, 2007 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #35

    $5 million … money that could have been used for rebuilding … alas the remnants of the old regime … 🙁

    I wonder if this will come back to bite the club?

  • martin

    Jul 11, 2007 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #36

    Good business for Sunderland, i saw the lad play a few times last season, and he impressed me more than Nugent. Hope that all of the mags treat him with respect when he returns to St James Park. He should have been given more of a chance before he left for Cardiff.

  • John Ainsworth

    Jul 11, 2007 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #37

    As far as I know he hasn’t put pen to paper yet. But if he does, then I for one will welcome him.
    He is a developing player and I would back Roy Keane’s judgement abobe mine, or that of anyone else on this blog.
    By the way, a good blog … spoiled a little by the juvenile, spiteful remarks by a very few of the Newcastle fans.

  • Neil

    Jul 11, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #38

    If Nugent is worth 6 then Chopra is worth 5. He never got the chance at Newcastle to play in a string of games. He was treated very unfairly in my opinion, kind of like how Alan O’Brien was treated last season, who is another player who will be worth about 5 million in the near future.

  • cooldj

    Jul 11, 2007 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #39


  • cooldj

    Jul 11, 2007 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #40



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