Surprising new being reported by the Evening Chronicle today is that Newcastle have lodged bids for West Ham’s Lucas Neill and French international striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who we were interested in during the summer.
Lucas Neill – Newcastle trying to buy out contract
According to the Chronicle the club are hoping to come to an agreement with West Ham to buy out the remainder of Neill’s contract – which has six months left to run – much like they did to get Real Mallorca’s Jonas Gutierrez.
Joe Kinnear confirmed last night, probably to cheer fans up after the terrible defeat tp Hull City, that funds had been made available by owner Mike Ashley and that the two £4M bids for Mbia and Ebondo have been lodged.
Kinnear said today:
“We’ve bid for two players and we have tried our hardest to get them both here at Newcastle United.”
“One of them plays for Cameroon – he’s a decent player and is very powerful in the air.”
The Chronicle is reporting that, after assessing their options for right-back and given that the cash-strapped West Ham club are desperate to reduce their wage bill, Newcastle have cooled their interest in Toulouse right-back Albin Ebondo for now.
But how can that be the case if we only lodged our £4M bid for the player yesterday? Both these things cannot be true, unless Toulouse have already come back and either turned down the bid or asked for more money.
Bafetimbi Gomis was a target of Newcastle back in the summer when he played for France in the European Championships, but at that time the fee was as much as £10M, which seemed far too high.
However, the striker may have already gone off the boil a little and while he scored 16 times in 35 French League games last season, he has only scored 4 goals this time around, so if we could get him for a reasonable fee, that could turn out to be a good deal for the club.
Bafe Gomis – 23 year old St. Etienne striker
The 23-year-old 6’1″ striker, who has played 4 times for France with 2 goals, would give Newcastle more options in attack right now, with Michael Owen our only fully-fit striker, and with the likelihood the former Liverpool striker will leave in the summer on a free transfer.
We’re not too sure about Neill, since we’ve never rated the player too highly, but if we can get him for a good deal, like we did for Gutierrez last summer, that might be worth it, but the Aussie will be on a massive wage, and is probably not worth those high wages.
Of course on the positive side, Neill has lots of Premier League experience and can play almost anywhere across the back four so he could be a decent buy for Newcastle, if only because of because of his flexibility in defense.
Lucas is apparently very keen to come to Newcastle, but that’s probably because he’ll get a signing bonus since no transfer fee will be involved in the deal. The fact that Dennis Wise knows West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola quite well. could also help us in the negotiations.
Of course his Ausie team-mate Mark Viduka is already on Tyneside, although out injured yet again, and with no likelihood of earning an extended deal in the summer.