Newcastle Still After New Players

Still no official word on the Ivaca Dragutinovic affair but something should be coming through today hopefully.

There was something in the Chronicle yesterday saying that Drago’s terms were too high for Newcastle but we’re not sure if there is any truth in that story.

However it looks like Sam Allardyce and Chris Mort may not be finished on the transfer front even if Drago decides to come.


Ivaca Dragutinovic

Newcastle United chairman Chris Mort yesterday revealed that transfer plans were continuing with manager Sam Allardyce.

Mort told BBC Radio Five Live:

“Sam and I speak most days, if not every day.”

“This afternoon we sat down together for an hour or two and went through the squad and players we are looking to add.”

“That work is continuing and we will carry on going forward. Our relationship is absolutely fine.”

Speaking for the first time on the Dyer situation of last Friday Chris added:

“We got very uncomfortable with the way they were conducting negotiations and some of the things going on about the deal we wanted to change from our perspective.”

“They were (then) not prepared to match the valuation we put on him.”

It certainly is looking like their relationship, from a business sense at least is starting to blossom. We’ve had some good transfer successes lately and the investment Mort announced yesterday in the training facilities at Benton is very sensible. It’s refreshing, to say the least, that the club is starting to look well run from a business perspective and that augers well for the future.

On the Drago affair, a Newcastle source told the Evening Chronicle yesterday:

“We were a bit taken back by Dragutinovic’s demands.”

“If we had given him what he was asking for, it would have made him the highest paid player at St James’ Park.”

“We are not prepared to meet his demands.”

We should stress that we would expect some official word coming from either Drago or Sevilla about the transfer. However, if this report is true, then it’s best we move on because it looks like Drago has decided to stay at Sevilla and tested Newcastle with a ridiculous wage demand. Best to move on in that case.

But we’re not sure who the other transfer targets may be if Drago does not come here.  We still think we need at least another defender and another midfield player – a playmaker.

Who do you think is still needed to round out the squad?

Let us know – comments always welcome?

39 comments so far

  • iain

    Aug 9, 2007 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #1

    i wont believe anything about drago until its come from our club officlialy or sevilla.

    it does sound like hes trying it on for more money from us or sevilla but even if his demands are very high, surely we would still be easily able to pay more than sevilla as they dont pay big wages.

    i certainly wont believe anything thats written in the chron either, with there “club sopurces” who do they think there kidding.

    theres only one source at nufc they could have and thats alan olivers brother (the purveyor of the all crap they right), and i doubt very much sam keeps him up to date with contract negotiations. theres no way in hell that sam, mort or ashley will be leaking there business to the local press.

  • Dave

    Aug 9, 2007 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #2

    If could only sign one more player I’d still go for a left back. On that can play central defence if called upon. Don’t know who though?

    I think our midfiled is looking pretty good and as for the strike force…. 🙂

  • Alex

    Aug 9, 2007 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #3

    Just read that Sam is going to make a move for Diop.I think another 2 defenders are still needed.I would like to see Shorey at the Toon.

  • Ian, Doha

    Aug 9, 2007 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #4

    Yep, we need two more defenders and if Dyer goes, we’ll need cover for him also.

    What about Wes Brown, Nick Shorey and Kevin Nolan (for Dyer)?

    I think BSA will stay in England for his remaining signings……

  • Dinko

    Aug 9, 2007 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #5

    I don’t want Drago anymore. Sevilla or Newcastle. England or Spain. He has so much dillema that I cant’t imagine him in front of goal. He will say. ” should I score or should I pass the ball?” And then he will ask for couple of minutes for thinking. In that moment every player will stop playing and wait untill Drago decides. And he will shoot wide then. Let’s find some other player somewhere in France or Germany or Holland,Belgium…. Drago isn’t Nesta.

  • Hammy

    Aug 9, 2007 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #6

    I haven’t bought the Chronicle since I discovered this website….I can’t imagine BSA sitting in Burger King with AO discussing transfer targets.
    Big Sam gets up and says….O.K Alan not a word mind……..yeah right.
    Oliver should be careful how he treads…as the BEEB has found out you only have to upset BSA once and that is it, new sports editor required.
    I can’t see Drago coming as Sevilla’s right back Alves is being lined up by Chelsea and Real Madrid, they wouldn’t wany to lose their two best defenders at once.
    Not a lot of quality play makers round at the minute, a lot of bloggers have mentioned Deco…he’d be great but not many world class ones are available….
    Lets see what happens.
    Once again well done Ed for the site………although not much house work getting done.

  • Tez

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #7

    I would like to see a right back and a left back come in – with one of those also able to play centre back (as cover).
    While we are talking to Seville why not try steal Alves from under chelsea and liverpools nose (would be great but unlikely).

    Oh and throw in Juan Román Riquelme – he is so good, not wanted by his club was on loan at Boca and they can’t afford to buy him… he scored 10 goals in 24 games on loan at boca… and set up loads I am sure!!

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #8

    Well, we will find relatively soon that Geremi will potentially be our player of the season, especially if he gets the arm band. He plays effective simple football. He will be wasted as a rightback. Enqrique won’t need long to adapt, he is a powerful player in his own right. I think Charlie and Baba should provide enough cover. W. I prefer rightbacks having that build, as they can operate as a third centreback from set peices. However, a young rightback as deputy would be ideal,

  • Andreas

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #9

    I would like to see a quality RB added before the transfer window close, prefferably one who can play CB and/or LB too. A fine DMF would also be nice for squad depth and competition for starting places but not exactly neccessary in my opinion.

    Contrary to many other fans I actually prefer if we DO NOT buy a “star playmaker” this transfer window. The reason behind my “strange” view is that I belive we would actually be a tad more limited as a unit with a star as “automatic choice” and if such “star playmaker” won’t be a automatic pick I feel it’s kinda bad business to spend ~ 15 mill + huge wages this season. However, when we are back in Europe – hopefully next season – I do think we definetly should buy a “star playmaker”. I understand this reasoing can seem very wired indeed but I really do think we will be stronger as a team over this season playing a bit more pragmatic.

    All in all I think we’re more or less set for the upcoming season as it is right now. Any new signing will be bonuses but not really “über-needed”.

    I do think we have quality and a squad capable of finishing 5th – with an slim slim slim slim outside chance of 4th – but we might end up around 8th place too. A lot depends on how well we (and others ofc) start the season, injuries ofc and last but not least we do need some luck too.

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #10

    Well, we will find relatively soon that Geremi will potentially be our player of the season, especially if he gets the arm band. He plays effective simple football. He will be wasted as a rightback. Enqrique won’t need long to adapt, he is a powerful player in his own right. I think Charlie and Baba should provide enough cover. We do need two rightbacks, with the first choice being over 24 and having great pace, stamina and conditioned to both defend and support attacks. Also get a younger deputy that can learn his trade and also be used as backup ! I believe cacapa however will be an able rightback. We desperately need one more big name centreback. Rozehnal and Taylor for me will be a weak pair. Both are young and inexperienced in the premiership. Don’t expect miracles on this, the premiership will be fiercly competitive this season and those two will not shackle the top 8 clubs. Personally, I think a premiership veteran defender around the age of 28-32 would be ideal. We would have a complete central defensive unit in Taylor, ?, Rozehnal and Cacapa ! 3 players, one of which being a young rightback for nominal fee. But as I have said before, the crucial spot for us, is the creative midfield play maker element this side has lacked since Beardsley left and a robust defensive partner to fill the void left by Speed. Diop and Aimar would be ideal. Butt is old, but a seasoned professional and would be always reliable to have him on board. We have only Geremi, Barton, Emre and Troisi in centre otherwise and none of them can dictate play. Need a strong personality that has vision and flair in the centre that can bring the wide men into the game with an immaculate passing array at his disposal !

  • LiamBirchy8

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #11

    I would like us to sign diop and silvestre. That may be the end of the spending but i would try and sign a right back, hopefully hoyte or rosenier.

  • Bill F

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #12

    I still like Schneijer (?) and would like us to have him. I don’t think we have to worry too much about having a team of “Galactico’s” at this stage of Sam’s management.

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #13

    Think its far from the end of spending, especially considering Morts statement of intend towards new additions made only yesterday. That was a plural, so assuming Drago doesnt sign, we could potentially still see 3 new faces. Think Ashley is wise enough to realise Big Sam will get Dyer fitter than ever, allowing him to shine up until January thus raising his stock before being sold. Defence and midfield look weak to me. Only Carr and Baba have adaquite premiership experience out of the entire defensive squad. Ironically, it is those same two that most want gone including myself !

  • nightfall

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #14

    Ian, Doha – why nolan? we have more then enough midfielders… we’re having a hard time selecting first 11 with the players already in the squad…with new arrivals (midfielders) that will be impossible… we only have like 50 matches this season…and with players we already have (midfielders, attackers)…they should be happy if each of them plays 20 matches this season…
    M: butt, geremi, barton, duff, n’zogbia, milner, solano, emre, dyer, (luque, smith), edgar,….even pattison
    A: owen, viduka, martins, ameobi, carrol, (smith, luque),…troisi

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #15

    It is very obvious that there is absolutely ZERO experienced premiership defenders with quality available. So, we should do the next best thing, perhaps even better. Sign an experienced big name defender that can not only inspire the youth we have already, but certainly add a degree of class to our defense. I speak of players of the calibre of Thuram, Cordoba, Ayala, Samual, Selgado, Cafu, Zanetti. All are well into their 30s and only have several years left. But doesnt that situation suit us EXACTLY. Remember, this season is our building season, we cannot expect to get the big names we would normally expect in a big takeover as we have no european football. Well, not only would any amount of these big name signings for little fees bring star quality and appeal to newcastle, they would also bring experience and class to the side and educate our defence. Think it is also extremely important to take into considering our very own boss, is a marvel at producing form from aging stars ! All the previously mentioned players would jump at the chance of stability in a new club and league, with a 2 year contract. Newcastle would represent a respectible challenge for them. It is entirely what we need. I would think we would benefit from 2. A right back, perhaps an unhappy Thuram and a centre back in the mould of Ayala/Cordoba !

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #16

    Just look at what Davids, Sol Campbell, Jay jay, Speed etc did for their respective clubs. We need aged quality, only on a 2 year basis. Our younger players respective games would rise by 50% if they had calibre besides them in difficult situations.

  • Ian, Doha

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #17

    Nightfall –

    If/when Dyer leaves we’ll need a replacement and prefer Nolan to Diop!

    Not that Nolan is a Dyer type player as I’m still unsure of Dyer’s best position. What do you think?

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #18

    Think Dyer is a luxury that is best used coming off the bench. He offers very little outside his bursts of pace towards defence. Rarely does anything come off from these runs, and you can count how many times he attempts to do such runs within any game. Not a very sensible prospect. Think we need to forget about a replacement and start from scratch ! Two defenders are needed still (we don’t have the means or appeal to attract a complete midfielder), defensive and creative.

  • Tez

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #19

    If we play 3 upfront Dyer would be best playing as the right sided forward.

    Is Thuram available – that could be what we need – he can play right back and centre back – strong and experienced – if we got him and a young RB prospect I would be well happy. Thuram just needs someone like Sam to get him back to his best – and what a player he was when at his best!!

  • nightfall

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #20

    even if dyer leaves, we still have 10+ midfielders… i think that’s enough… and if for some reason it won’t be, we’ll probably play 4-3-3….with only 3 midfielders…

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #21

    ^^^ Meant two midfielders 🙂

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #22

    Think its not about numbers but what combination of players available on the day that can win us points. So far, I see a severe lack of creativity in the side. Milner only inputs random crosses, znogbia cuts inside and is ball greedy. Duff can’t beat his man and hasnt seen the bye line for a while. Emre is very classy, but he rarely gets assists under his belt as he opts to being people into the game, rather than a killer ball. Barton perhaps is our best playmaker, but he opts to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, rather than play delicate passes and create openings. Butt will be lapped before he realises he was passed the ball. Sorry, but I still feel our midfield will struggle to create chances !

  • Tez

    Aug 9, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #23

    BW- what is your opinion of Geremi in midfield?

  • Bob

    Aug 9, 2007 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #24

    I think that Michel Salgado would be a great signing if we could get him…. I believe that he has fallen out of favour at Real Madrid. A bit slow but has class.

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #25

    I rate Geremi. He is a tidy player, looking for the quick simple useful pass, rather than over induldge. He is also dangerous from freekicks, which can come in use. I would doubtlessly make him captain. Play him inside, with Barton on the right (similar to stevie G for pool) and have Geremi, emre centre with Znogbia outwide on the left. I would prefer Diop instead of Emre however, and a playmaker in place of Nzogbia. A midfield consisting of Barton, a quality creative playmaker, Diop and Geremi would get this club back into Europe. Keeping Nzogbia and Milner on the bench, fielding them late on, hitting the ground running or starting them when playing easy ties at home !

  • bw positive

    Aug 9, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #26

    I still think wingers in their classical sense are nothing more than plan B. We should stick to winning football matches by playing proper football through the centre and using width to make space not to chip a random cross in like some lottery. If we are behind come 70 or so minutes, then sure put wingers on. But they are so one dimensional that it is so easy to defend against. Bad crosses also tend to cause impatience and add more pressure on the side. How many times have we seen the entire toon army rely on a run by Milner followed by a cross that went out of play for a goalkeep and then get the immediate feeling that that one moment was enough for the headline writers to slate our performance. We need players that will play, without us having to get younger lads to bomb down the flanks and pop a ball on someones head. I think their would be enough intelligence between Barton, Geremi, a class playermaker and Diop to cause any side CONSTANT problems, without having to use wingers. If we need wingers, then get wingbacks in the mould of Ashley Cole, Alves. Wingers rarely produce pin point crosses whilst under pressure, so utilising a speed demon fullback and capitalising on his lack of marking could help us no end.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 9, 2007 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #27

    I agree with Bob when thinking about RB’s with good experience Salgado came up. Why not make a move for him or a wild card bid for Zambrotta. Personally i only think we need a RB until January.

    I dont understand why english teams dont look in the Mexican League the quality of football is fairly high there and the players arent weak. We should try and get their best RB, Jose Antonio Castro.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #28


  • Dingo

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #29

    I have to say I would like to see Royston Drenthe @ SJP as cover for the WHOLE left side, for me he ouses potential. Riqeulme in mid field and shorey in defense… there done and dusted… BSA needs me as his no.2 obviously.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #30

    No with those ideas. 🙂
    Shorey isnt good enough for Newcastle. A good crosser, nothing else special.

  • Dingo

    Aug 9, 2007 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #31


  • todd

    Aug 9, 2007 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #32

    A 4-3-3 with wide wings and one man in middle works if the wings are blazing fast and the man in the middle is a beast and there are two really good attacking midfielders. Chelski had alot of success doing that and man yoo has basically played that way on occasion but it is risky way to go because of the counter attack vulnerability. I don’t think the wing thing is the best way to go for this group of guys.
    I think that Drenthe kid is amazing, but he is currently suing his club to get out of his contract so he can go to Real Madrid…that isn’t cool.

  • doug

    Aug 9, 2007 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #33

    I hope we do not splash 15-20M on a play maker. Lets see how this group of players do, i.e. hopefully we become a solid top 4/5 or 6. It is too early to spent large sums on players. Once we have established ourself just outside the top 4, then aim to push on into the top 4. Given our past experience I would hate us to make big signing blunders while we know (Arsenal / Wenger) that excellent players are available for “reasonable” prices.

  • Dirk

    Aug 9, 2007 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #34

    I think that we should keep tryin to get drago, he’s a solid defender who can cover left and center back, and as we’ve got 3 solid centre backs and plenty of youngsters to back up i think he’ll be more of a left back, tho id still like to c shorey wearin black n white. how bout we go for cicinho? real madrid say hes available and hez a very gd rite back could b what we need a rite back tho i wouldn panic buy as carr has been lookin better under BS. as for midfield we need 2 more i say an attacker and midfielder who can defned and attack, lik what parker was, similar to gerrard.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 9, 2007 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #35

    We should have moved for Cuellar, before Rangers got him 🙁

  • ende

    Aug 9, 2007 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #36

    I find this just a bit amusing. No matter what happens, it seems a few people are always saying we need “2 more defenders”. We picked up Geremi and Rozy… folks said we still need “2 more defenders”. Now we pick up Enrique and possibly Drago, and still people say we need “2 more defenders”. When there was talking of bringing both Drago and Baines in, after bringing Enrique in, folks were still saying “This is great but we still need 2 more defenders”. Let me guess, we pick up Drenthe, Salgado, Alvez and /then/ we only need “2 more defenders”?

    So when do we stop needing 2 more defenders?

    ps: I’m not saying we don’t need 2 more defenders, I just find humor in the fact that 2 is always the magic number here.

  • Tito

    Aug 10, 2007 at 7:43 AM

    Comment #37

    Oh come on guys, do you really think we are a bottomless pit? MA was already shocked over our debts and BS has already added significantly to our squad, if not replaced those thrash with great signings. Do you guys keep thinking signing a player is as easy as killing an ant?

    We do not only pay his transfer fees, but his wages over the years too. There’s lots of considerations to do. We do not play in Europe this season, where will the extra revenue come from, to support all these “new players” u guys want?

    If there’s new signings, be glad. If there’s not, be content. No matter if there’s more signings or not, I am already very optimistic abt the new season. Because the gaffer isn’t the crap GR anymore.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 10, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #38

    Tito – I think we just need one defender really to have a good squad – another midfielder would be cover for Barton – but agree with your thoughts – squad is much better now and we have great faith in Big Sam.

  • Tito

    Aug 10, 2007 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #39

    Ed – Not tat I am critical of what you guys hope, me too hope there will be more signings, as like any other fans of the Toon. But I do feel for the younger lads like Huntington and Edgar. Where will they be fit in, if we have a really injuries-free season? (touch wood)

    We already have 2 rb in Carr and Geremi. Ramage will be willing to play there as long as he gets a game.

    2 left backs in Baba and Enrique. Edgar impressed me when he played there against manure last season.

    Thats 6 players. Plus the central guys like Stevie, Cacapa, Rozehnal, Huntington and if u like, include Nobby. Thats about 10-11 defenders we have.

    Huntington, Ramage and Edgar have each tasted the 1st team action in recent seasons. Do you think they are willing to dwell in reserves again? I certainly don’t wish to see all those youngsters leave us to search for more regular football, thus costing us the chance to nurture them, just because we need more “defenders” to make up the depth or numbers..

    If you are talking about defensive midfielder, then I would possibly agree. Butt is unchallenged in his position, now that Barton is facing a court case. My most favourable central mid pairing would be Smith and Barton no doubt. Their energetic play would surely tire out opposing midfielders, and their tenacious nature will ensure we won’t always have less possession than opponents. Who knows they might even lift our whole team’s fighting spirit.

    Omg.. i think I talk too much eh? =P


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