Kevin Keegan’s thoughts are starting to turn to the summer transfer window.
Kevin Keegan - 4-5 senior players and some youngsters
Kevin talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning:
â€œIâ€™ve said all along I would be looking for four or five players,â€ â€œThatâ€™s all we need, but those four or five will have to be top quality.â€
â€œThatâ€™s the priority in terms of strengthening, the very top end of the squad, but if we were able to do that, maybe we could also look at bringing a couple of youngsters in.â€
â€œIt would be nice to balance our squad that way, and thatâ€™s the two different angles weâ€™re going to be looking to address this summer.â€
â€œYouâ€™re not going to be looking at the massive turn-over the club saw last summer. Itâ€™s going to be a case of making a few quality signings and a couple of younger faces who are more for the future.â€
There are a number of youngsters we have been linked with. We reported yesterday that Keegan seems interested still in 19 year-old midfielder Giles Barnes, who would cost around Â£3M from Derby County. Derby will presumably need to unload one or two of their players when they drop down to the Championship for next season. Barnes has only recently undergone knee surgery and will be out until the start of next season.
We’ve also been linked with Real Madridâ€™s exciting midfielder Esteban Granero, who is just 20 years old, and our readers in Spain have said this boy looks really good, even though the transfer fee is said to be around Â£10M.
We’ve also been linked with 21 year super kid Joao Moutinho from Sporting Lisbon who has already played for his club side over 170 times and is an extremely skillful midfielder.
Moutinho has just signed with Israeli super-agent Pini Zahavi, and Zahavi has strong links with the Premiership. It is understood that Sporting would allow him to leave Lisbon for less than his current Â£20M buyout clause, and again Â£10M is probably close to the fee Lisbon would want.
We are also very interested in 6â€™1â€ Bournemouth 18 year-old striker Sam Vokes, and to say Sam is dying to join the Tyneside club is a bit of an understatement. Bournemouth are still in trouble and latest group said to buy the club pulled out yesterday. However, Newcastle have already decided to wait until the summer for Vokes.
Keegan is pleased by the experience and leadership in the squad he inherited.
â€œIâ€™ve got about five leaders in my team â€“ Nicky and Michael, Geremiâ€™s fantastic, and Habib Beye and Faye,â€
â€œViduka is quite experienced as well. So Iâ€™ve got a lot of good men who can lead the team.â€
So if we get 5 quality players and a couple of very good youngsters into the club, that will make the squad look a lot stronger than it is now. Kevin will also be told the target for next season will be to qualify for Europe, so we expect Kevin to be backed fully in the transfer market by Chris Mort and owner Mike Ashley.
It certainly promises to be an exciting time for Newcastle fans during the summer, that’s for sure.