Newcastle Reported To Be After Ivory Coast Winger

News late tonight that Newcastle are said to be willing to offer Leon Best in exchange for Leeds’ rising young star, 23 year-old Ivorian Max Gradel,  in January.

Max Gradel – Leeds United exciting winger

Max can play on either wing and can also play up front as an out-and-out striker.

New manager Alan Pardew is trying to strengthen his attacking actions at Newcastle, and especially with some wingers, and Gradel would seem to be an excellent buy for Newcastle, as the lad can play in a number of different positions.

And Leeds United manager Simon Grayson has already shown an interest in Newcastle striker Leon Best, so there is a possibility of a part exchange deal between the two clubs early in January.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Pardew may be interested in Southampton’s 24 year-old Jason Puncheon, who is currently on loan at Millwall, but that loan deal ends on Monday.

Puncheon was born in Croydon and can again play on either wing or as a withdrawn striker, but the word on the lad is that he is a rather erratic performer, sometimes very good, and sometimes completely invisible.

And both these players have been playing Championship football,  and the obvious question is can they make the big step up to the Premier League.

From what we can tell, Gradel would look the better bet, and would offer some company to our other Ivory Coast player – Cheick Tiote – who has been just great for Newcastle this season.

The 23 year-old has played at Leicester, Bournemouth and Leeds United, and has a total of 125 first class appearances with 25 goals, and has played 54 times for Leeds United with 13 goals.

The Daily Mail is reporting that Newcastle had Puncheon watched, and  he scored in Millwall’s 2-0 win over Leicester on Tuesday.

From what we’ve seen of the two players,  Max Gradel could be a decent signing for Newcastle, but we have our doubts about Puncheon.

Comments welcome.

60 comments so far

  • gorskino10

    Dec 29, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #1

    This one of the only reports i’ve seen that “Could” happen, we need a winger (one who can be deployed on right or left) and someone who wont need much time to get used to English Football and someone very quick and can score, i think Max can do that and a trade plus some cash may be an astute buy.

  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Dec 29, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #2

    I like him, hope it is true.

  • StuW

    Dec 29, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    Comment #3

    Could be a good deal both ways. We get rid of Best, and get a talented winger, and Leeds get a striker to fill the void left by Beckford.

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 29, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #4

    Transfer Market not even open and we’re in business? This is not the NUFC I know.

  • AussieToon

    Dec 29, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Comment #5

    I like Gradel and would fancy him being able to adapt to the Premier League. If it only costs us a guy who hasn’t played for us then I am all for it. If this is a recommendation from our scout Graham Carr then I am definitely all for it.

    Also looks like we have signed HBA permanently! Woo Hoo!!! Made my year! 🙂

  • Howay The Lads

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #7

    Two very good feet from the looks of that video. Pretty impressed.

  • armchairwhite

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Comment #8

    Sorry guys, don’t get your hopes up.

    Gradel seems to be loving it at Leeds, he is pretty integral to the Leeds set up at the moment, and has only recently signed a new contract.

    Leeds don’t need to sell, and we certainly don’t need another striker. We are the top scorers in our division for goodness sake. We have an abundance of strikers, and certainly don’t miss Beckford. Davide Somma had six goals for us by October….. and he can’t even get a place on our bench….. Grella is out on loan… Paynter and McCormack are just starting to get opportunities.

    I’m not saying you couldn’t get Gradel…. with Uncle Ken at the helm I’m sure anyone is available at the right price…. but the operative word is ‘price’.

    We don’t need Best, or indeed any striker…. and I can’t see us being tempted by him (defenders OTOH….).

    If you want Max… its going to cost you…… actual pounds…. and lots and lots and lots of them.

    How are you placed on that front?

  • fungus44

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #9

    it,s all over twitterHba has singed for us to be announced start of next week ,hope it true

  • Whitecap

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    Comment #10

    When I read 23 year old Ivory Coast Winger I was hoping for Gervinho. But last I heard he was valued at around £15 million. Which I assume is out of Ashley’s comfort zone for spending.

    He was Tiote’s recommendation though, and for me Gervinho would be fantastic for Newcastle’s right wing.

  • Brutooon

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    Comment #11

    anyone who can CROSS the ball would be a good compare to our wingers

    If you thing about it, we are the only team where our winger CANT cross the ball

  • gorskino10

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #12

    But Whitecap he is out of our reach Max is Ivorian and a good talent too and young, i think the days of deals over 7 million are gone which i somewhat agree with but i like too see bargains like Tiote who has to be one of the best defensive midfielder in the EPL!

  • Jamma

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Comment #13

    Brutton is absolutely right, technical players needed on the wings! Jonas cannot cross – i really like the look of cleverley, he can whip in a good ball for big andy to stick his head on!

    What about the french lad we signed who utd were after? About time he got a chance

  • Jamma

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #14

    *brutooon sorry

  • Whitecap

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    Comment #15

    Last time I saw Max Gradel play he was getting sent off for shoving a man to the ground. He threw such a temper tantrum at the referee he had to be escorted off the field by his teammates, kicking and screaming all the way. I think it was the match where Leeds won promotion last season.

    I’m sure he has matured since then.


    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #16

    My dads a huge Leeds fan and rates Gradel higly but apparently he has a Balotelli-esque temperament problem which could cause problems.. But as someone mentioned, it’s all over newspaper reporters twitters that HBA has pretty much officially signed and will be announced next week! Leg break or not that is a fantastic signing for us!!

  • Flop

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    Comment #17

    Hmm some cover would be good and some important competition for Jonas, runs hot and cold.
    Good news about Ben Arfa looked a good player

  • armchairwhite

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #18


    I was at that game. Max had been running rings around the player all game, and the guy have resorted to kicking seven bells out of Max as the only way he could stop him. Max got no protection from the ref, and in frustration, just as Leeds had a goal (wrongly it turns out) ruled out for offside, he stamped on the defender (Jones) foot.

    Jones threw himself to the ground clutching his face…. Max got a straight red. And then he lost it…. big time. As you said, he had to be dragged off the field by his own team mates.

    Four game ban, and totally deserved. He’s also had a couple of little outbursts so far this season…. one at Reading sticks in the mind.

    But they are rare, and he really is a talent.

    And NO you can’t have him.

  • Zangwill_Ho

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #19

    Hope be true

  • Bobby Dazzler

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #20

    Looks a decent player but so did routledge in the championship, adam johnson would be the one for me but i doubt man city will let him go after his performance the other night .
    i just hope we beat wigan and west ham or we could be in bottom 3 by the time ben arfa and gosling come back

  • lewman

    Dec 30, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    Comment #21

    gradel is in the fifa ultimate team of the week last week, thats all i know of him but he must be doing ok to get that recognition.
    anyone know if he is actually from the ivory coast or does he just have grandparents there and he plays for them.

  • GeordieToon89

    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    Comment #22

    hope both are true =]


    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    Comment #23

    Would be a good signing!

    Black and White Forever, Forever Black and White

  • GeordieToon89

    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    Comment #24
  • gorskino10

    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #25

    There is other twitter pages saying about Ben Arfa will be signed up by next week, we need Arfa and Max would be a good cheap buy who knows he may be our best winger given time!

  • GeordieToon89

    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    Comment #26

    whats this about SWP then lads?

  • armchairwhite

    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:13 AM

    Comment #27

    This photo is mine:

    Max Gradel takes on the entire Norwich team

    And there is STILL nothing to this rumour…. its the Daily Mail for heaven’s sake… You can’t believe anything they say… You are a big club with huge support, we are a big-ish club with huge support, and the DailyMail print this sort of crap just to attract traffic.


  • Oba

    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    Comment #28

    No no no no. He has a terrible attitude and has just as much experience in the Prem as Routledge, who is rubbish.

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 30, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    Comment #29

    Oba, Who?

  • GeordieToon89

    Dec 30, 2010 at 2:09 AM

    Comment #30

    a hope your not referring to SWP as a dont think he’s played outside of the prem therefore has a hell of alot more experience, Gradel is young and has a whole lot of potential and is a very exciting player

  • Turkish Magpie

    Dec 30, 2010 at 2:44 AM

    Comment #31

    How about this team for Febuary 1st?


    SUBS: Harper, Jonas, Kadar, Vuckic, Ranger,££££, Lovenkrands

    ***** = Williamson or STaylor or Coloccini
    ?????= SWP or Bentley or Adam Johnson
    ££££= Gradel or Puncheon or our own LuaLua

  • baro

    Dec 30, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    Comment #32

    I would absolutely love for Alan Pardew to sign Max Gradel. He is an absolute awesome player. Can cross, has a ton of tricks, can terrorize defenders has blazing speed. And he would be a good addition because him and Cheik Tiote are both from Ivory Coast. I feel like Cheik needs a friend on this team.

    Max Gradel and Shaun Wright Phillips in than get Hatem Ben Arfa on a permanent deal, and sign a defender. I’d prefer Samba.

  • Oba

    Dec 30, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    Comment #33

    To clarify I was referring to Gradel.

    As Turkish Mag says, I’d rather have LuaLua back.

  • AussieToon

    Dec 30, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    Comment #34

    Gradel is a terrific player, the main difference from him and Routledge is he can actually cross a ball well. Very similar pace to Routledge, maybe a touch trickier and a better goal scorer. Definitely an apgrade and he is a youngster. Also agree that Tiote will be happier with a fellow countryman in the side. Tiote is one of our most important assets and anything that keeps him happier is a bonus. If we can get this by just swapping Leon Best I am definitely on board. Leeds have a lot of support here in Australia, therefor have a lot of mates who follow them from the days of Kewell and Viduka. I have seen a fair bit of Gradel and always thought to myself he looked Premiership quality.

    Rumours around that we are bidding for Jay Boothroyd too who is available apparently for two million pounds. I don’t mind Jay as extra cover so long as we get a striker who can play with Andy. Jay would be a good depth player to have in my opinion for two million, smart purchase.

  • RossGellar

    Dec 30, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    Comment #35

    I’m actually quite excited about the next half of the season. A few quality signings and a bit of luck, and I think we’ll do very well for ourselves and have something to build on next season.

  • mashearer

    Dec 30, 2010 at 4:15 AM

    Comment #36

    all we need right now is the return of craigcoozy…the real one

  • Charlietoon

    Dec 30, 2010 at 5:08 AM

    Comment #37

    What is going on here??

    Ive never heard this guys name mentioned and all of a sudden every one on here is saying he is amazing and he can cross the ball really well as though they have been following him for years.

    I think most of you have just watched the same six or seven youtube video’s I have?

    Yes he seems to be very good at finding space in the goal box and can run with both feet but, I did not see in any of those highlights him crossing or passing a ball to a centre forward. Also Roughtledge was a great crosser of the ball in the championship. Lets not trash wayne when he has not had a run of games and make this guy the next saviour when he has not faced premier league players…..

    That being said it was obvious Andy Johnson was going to be a serious talent as soon as he stepped up. Going off the youtube videos if we can get him for Best I’d be happy.

  • Charlietoon

    Dec 30, 2010 at 5:09 AM

    Comment #38

    haha run with both feet…der no shIt Sherlock. I meant dribble..and in fact shoot with both feet

  • baro

    Dec 30, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    Comment #39

    When the transfer market is done i would like to see the following in our team and out of our team


    Hatem Ben Arfa (permanent deal)
    Shaun Wright Phillips
    Christopher Samba
    Max Gradel


    Leon Best
    James Perch

  • baro

    Dec 30, 2010 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #40

    If we get one and only one player in this transfer market than i would go for ADEL TAARABT. He is just amazing for QPR. I’m sure he can do the same in the premier league. An all around Moroccan attacker who always seems to score goals. Used to play for Tottenham they loaned him to QPR than QPR moved ahead and made it permanent. He is the perfect player to play just off Carroll, or on either wing. Can cross, shoot, great skill.


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