Derek Llambias has opened the lid on the transfers Newcastle tried to do in January, and it turns out we went after Johnson, Ebondo, Onouha, Richardson and Elano, and we’ll try again for most of these in the summer.
Blumer Elano – Newcastle tried to get him last month
We’re getting quite a bit of news today from Derek Llambias on the transfer activity behind the scenes at Newcastle last month.
And most of the reports on the players we were after seem to have been verified today.
Derek has said there were failed bids for Manchester City pair Michael Johnson and Nedum Onuoha, Toulouse right-back Albin Ebondo and Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson, but these will all be revived in the summer.
Derek is also saying that the money made from the sales of Shay Given, James Milner and Charles N’Zogbia will be added to funds supplied directly by owner Ashley, and spent this summer, if the club can get suitable transfers in place.
However the money is available this summer, which is good news.
Derek said today:
“Relegation is a major fear for us too, but we did try to get the players the manager wanted in the transfer window,”
“We aren’t a selling club, we’re a buying club. We are out there in the market. We never said no to any requests.”
“We tried to get Michael Johnson in all sorts of different ways. We tried cash and we tried players. We tried for Nedum Onuoha and we tried for Elano.”
“But none of those combinations came off. It’s a terrible window that upsets everybody, so for us, we couldn’t actually spend the money we had.”
“We tried as hard as possible to get players in a short period of time. Whatever players the manager has asked for, he’s had, or at least we’ve made an offer and tried to get a deal done.”
“Are we disappointed we didn’t get another midfielder? Yes. Are we disappointed we didn’t get another right-back? Yes.”
“But that window is so awkward, although we will be going back in the summer for certain individuals that we went for in the summer.”
“We started working (on possible transfers) on day one, from way before the window opened. We did try for another midfielder – Kieran Richardson – and we tried for Ebondo at Toulouse.
“When we were about to sign the papers (on the Ebondo deal), they (Toulouse) doubled the price to £6M, it was obscene.”
“Absolutely obscene – it was because they thought we were so desperate we’d pay it. Because of what happened in the window we have money to spend on transfers.”
“It’s money we’d have spent anyway, but we have money to spend in the summer.”
The news on Ebondo is consistent with what Joe Kinnear was saying, that the Toulouse club agreed a deal, and then raised their price, at least twice, otherwise we would have had Ebondo at Newcastle right now.
That’s no way for a football club to conduct their business, and it’s a little surprising Newcastle didn’t report Toulouse to UEFA.
But it’s good news that we seem to be going after good players, and we have the money to spend in the summer.
We have also let Kieran Richardson, of Sunderland, know that he can double his wages at Newcastle, so he’ll have a few months to think about that, before Newcastle lodge another bid for him in the summer.
Richardson would be great on Tyneside.