News this morning that Tottenham Hotspur are preparing to improve their bid for defender Sébastien Bassong this week.
Sebastien Bassong – next out of the door at Newcastle?
Seb was pulled from the starting line-up against Dundee United yesterday, and we thought that was because a deal could be imminent, but Chris Hughton has said today it was never his intention to play Seb, because he is suspended for the first game of the season.
It does seem however that the long-awaited St James’ Park clear-out is about to get under way, but why the club has waited this long is beyond us, especially when transfer money coming in and big earners off the wage bill make the club more attractive to buyers.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp yesterday denied any knowledge of the £10M bid his club was yesterday widely reported to have had rejected by Newcastle United.
However, Harry knows a good player when he sees one, and Bassong is equipped to become an excellent and dominant center-back – but not at Newcastle it appears.
Of course Sebastien is not a high wage earner having only joined the club a year ago from Metz for £500K, but he is one which the club can get a significant transfer fee for, presumably that can then be used to bring in reinforcements to the squad.
The squad was too small last year, and we have now lost six players from that squad with no new players arriving yet on Tyneside.
Exactly which wizard at Newcastle is planning all this is not known, but take your pick between Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias.
Caretaker manager Chris Hughton said yesterday he knew nothing of Spurs’ interest, but then also revealed he had no involvement at all in Martins’ £9M departure to Wolfsburg.
French Under-21 international Bassong was one of three first teamers who missed the trip to Tannadice yesterday.
Habib Beye handed in a transfer request last week and didn’t travel, and Fabricio Coloccini also did not travel to Scotland, but both are carrying injuries.
Hughton told the Newcastle Journal:
“They are all Newcastle players at this moment in time,” But what happens in the future, I don’t know. At the moment they are all players at this club.”
“I spent the weekend preparing the team for this game. The stuff I saw on the television (about Bassong) was the first I knew about it. I have not spoken to anybody since, so as far as I am concerned at the moment, it is only speculation.”
“Habib and Coloccini had injuries and it was never my intention to play Bassong because he is suspended for the first game of the season. It is not difficult to plan because all you can do is work with the players you have.”
Hughton also said he was told about Martins deal only when it was a done deal and had no involvement in it at all, and wasn’t brought into the negotiations.
“I was only made aware of the Obafemi Martins situation when it was a definite deal,”
“At the moment there are not any other deals I am aware of, and that is probably the best way to keep it.”
Bassong joined United on trial last summer and impressed enough to earn a permanent deal at the Tyneside club, and was outstanding last season.
Harry Redknapp has all three center-backs in Michael Dawson, Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King all carrying injuries, so he is obviously in the market for a center-back.
“He is a player I was interested in,” “I like Bassong, he is a young player with a good future and he is a good central defender.”
“I don’t think we have made an offer as far as I know. I am sure the chairman has not made an offer.”
As our readers will know, we’d like to see Bassong stay at the club, but how you can convince anybody to stay on Tyneside right now, with no new owner and no manager, and Alan Shearer back with the BBC, is beyond us.
So it seems we’ll lose whoever we lose until this madness is stopped.
When that will be is anybody’s guess, but the Newcastle United Club is in a very bad way right now.
Until this all sorts itself out they will need out support more than ever, and a win at WBA on Saturday is just what we need to lift the spirits of Newcastle fans everywhere.
Howay The Lads!!