Sky Sports is generally fairly accurate in their reporting, and last night they indicated they thought that Leeds United’s winger Max Gradel was a January target for Newcastle.
Max Gradel – target for Newcastle?
Gradel has been linked with the Tyneside club for the last couple of weeks now, and certainly the 23-year-old fits the profile of players Mike Ashley would like to sign.
The 23 year-old Ivory Coast born player has played at Leicester and on loan at Bournemouth, before joining Leeds United a year ago on a two and a half year permanent deal.
But not surprisingly Leeds United are not too keen to let their in-form player move in the January transfer window.
Yesterday, Leeds were beaten 2-1 at Cardiff City in the Championship, with goals from former Newcastle players Craig Bellamy and Michael Chopra, making the difference.
But if Max is anything like the other Ivory Coast player Newcastle signed in the summer, Cheick Tiote, he’ll be another great signing for the club.
The deal will only happen if Newcastle offer Leeds a decent fee they cannot turn down, since the Elland Road club are obviously aiming to be in the Premier League next season – finally – and they hardly want to lose one of their best players, at this stage of the season.
Leeds are now in 5th place but just two points out of an automatic promotion place, currently held by QPR and Cardiff.
Gradel’s contract runs out in 18 months time, so if Leeds wait any longer his transfer fee could decrease, and we would have hoped that a deal of around £2M could be arranged for the player, but Newcastle may have to come up with even more than that to entice Leeds to sell.
Alan Pardew met with Newcastle’s Managing Director Derek Llambias yesterday to discuss transfer targets, and we would expect initial phone calls to start today, as they go down their list of transfer targets, which are thought to include wingers, a striker and a left back.