We were surprised to hear Chris Hughton talking today about Newcastle being a little behind in the transfer market.
Chris Hughton – playing catch-up in transfer market?
This is what Chris Hughton said this morning:
“Sometimes the difficulty is with your scouting network that until you are sure of what division you are going to be playing in, the markets are different, so in that respect, we are pleased we have secured our Premier League status earlier than the end of the season.”
“But of course, there are lots of teams who would very much have a head start on us because they are the teams who knew they were going to be in the Premier League and for them, it is an ongoing thing all season.”
“We have got a little bit of work to do, but we would certainly rather be doing that work going into the Premier League than perhaps having to go through the play-offs.”
Newcastle have a new head scout in Graham Carr, and from we have seen he’s been very busy, along with our other scouts in looking at a number of players, so we assume Chris has his targets already in place.
We hope he has in any case.
Indeed, this morning there was news in the press that Newcastle have already bid for one of their longer term targets, Norwegian, Erik Huseklepp.
We hope that Chris will move quickly in this market, and there seem to be some good players available either on free transfers or others that could be picked up fairly cheaply.
Some of these include Birmingham’s 24 year-old Swedish International Sebastian Larsson, who usually plays on the right wing, but can also play in either full-back position.
And we know that within the last couple of weeks Birmingham have exercised their option on Seb’s contract, to extend his contract by a year without negotiation, so he’s not available this summer on a free transfer.
While that protects Birmingham so they will get something for him if he moves this summer, the fact he can still be acquired for nothing in 12 months time will help persuade Birmingham to sell his the player this summer if a decent bid, like £2M comes in for him (from Newcastle).
We also like another long-term target in 22 year-old Per Ciljan Skjelbred, the Rosenborg attacking midfield player, who has played 12 times for Norway and almost arrived on Tyneside two years ago.
Of course Skjelbred has been a Newcastle United supporter siunce he was a boy, and would walk to Newcastle to get a contract on Tyneside.
So there are a number of players Newcastle have been linked with over the last year or so, and we’d love for them to be arriving at Newcastle, sooner rather than later.