The Sunday Sun is reporting today that Newcastle United have flatly turned down Manchester City’s opening bid for Shay Given, but have gone back and asked for midfielder Michael Johnson and cash in part-exchange.
Michael Johnson – excellent 20 year-old Man City midfielder
The youngster doesn’t turn 22 years old until next month and he would be a terrific acquisition for Newcastle, along with 22 year old defender Nedum Onuoha, and if they can get a deal like that from City, Newcastle would no doubt be willing to do a straight player swap for their unsettled goalkeeper. Michael has already played a couple of times already for the England Under-21 side.
We think that could well be the case but would Man City be willing to let go two of their best youngsters for a goalkeeper they hardly need, with Joe Hart coming on well at Eastlands? We think not.
Joe Kinnear is said to be unhappy City’s low £4M bid for Given, but that is just an opening gambit on City’s side, and a straight swap between Johnson and Onuoha for Given would be hard for the Tyneside club to turn down.
Both players fit the profile of players the Newcastle club would want to sign, but we don’t think Mark Hughes is daft enough to do a deal like this, which would certainly see Given leave Tyneside, if it could be struck.
Of course West Ham would also like Johnson, as part of Scott Parker’s proposed move to Eastlands, but City’s 20-year-old would prefer a move north rather than south, or so the Sunday Sun is reporting.
Johnson was rewarded with a new five-year contract last summer but he has been out with injuries this season,and of course another youngster, Stephen Ireland has been City’s best player this season.
Newcastle have already been linked with 22-year-old Onuoha, their versatile defender who can play anywhere across the back four, and has played with Stephen Taylor on the England Under-21 side.