Sam Allardyce is on the trail of Everton skipper Phil Neville.
The Newcastle boss is widely reported to be after the England international to bolster his squad and is ready to make a Â£4M bid to take the 30-year-old to Tyneside.
Phil Neville – can Sam persuade him to join Newcastle?
Allardyce is a long-term admirer of Neville and has received good financial backing from new Newcastle chairman Chris Mort during the last few weeks. The pending sale of Kieron Dyer to West Ham for around Â£7M will also mean that extra funds will be available to bring in new players. News today is that Abdoulaye Faye from Bolton is undergoing a medical in Newcastle right now and should be arriving for around Â£2M. Faye was keen to join his old boss at Newcastle and had little hesitation in accepting the deal – which has been in the works for over a week.
Newcastle’s interest is unlikely to be welcomed by Moyes, who is desperately trying to build up his squad rather than trim what is already one of the smallest squads in the Premier League.
Neville moved to Everton from Manchester United in 2005 for around Â£2.5M and at that time he would have been a good capture for Newcastle but we somehow missed out on him. Phil is a similar player to Alan Smith – a good footballer who can play in many different positions. But we’re sure Moyes didn’t make him Everton’s captain last season to have him move away from the club. Phil played 263 times for Manchester United scoring 5 goals in his 11 years at the club. He has played 69 times for Everton scoring 1 goal and has represented England on 56 occasions. He obviously has great experience in winning games, and has played in Europe multiple times for Manchester United.
Phil should also know a few players at Newcastle, including Alan Smith and of course Nicky Butt, but it will still be a hard sell to get him to Tyneside. We’ll watch this one closely and see if Sam’s persuasive powers can eventually win the day.