There are several news reports today that Newcastle manager Chris Hughton is keen to snap up Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood.
Marlon Harewood – are the Magpies really interested?
Marlon was on loan at Newcastle last year and at times looked good in a Newcastle shirt and scored five goals in 15 appearances in the three months he was at the club through December of last year.
It even looked like Newcastle boss Chris Hughton would have extended Marlon’s loan in January but was forced to cancel his plans after Harewood broke his foot during training.
But the former Nottingham Forest striker is now fit again and back in full training at Villa Park. Marlon was signed for £4M by the Villa from West Ham in 1997.
It’s clear that Aston Villa will not offer the player a new contract, although Marlon will turn 31 in August, and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has said he only wants players coming in during the summer who are 26 years-old or younger.
Marlon has played notably at Nottingham Forest and West Ham, and has a total of 439 first class appearances with 124 goals, but we’d be very surprised if Newcastle sign Harewood in the summer.
If Newcastle want to pick up a striker for nothing this summer, then Jermaine Beckford, who is just 26, is available on a free transfer. And we don’t expect him to accept any new contract offered by his Leeds United club, who unfortunately are no longer assured of promotion from League One this season.
Of course Jermaine is unproven at the top levels of English football, but he may be worth a chance, since he would cost nothing and his wages would be well within the range the Newcastle club are now willing to pay.
The 6’2″ Beckford has scored 27 goals in 42 games for Leeds United this season, that included goals against Manchester United at Old Trafford and Tottenham Hotspur during Leeds Uniteds’ excellent FA Cup run earlier this year.
In his 164 first class appearances for Leeds, Carlisle and Scunthorpe United, the Ealing, London-born player has 90 goals.