Sky Sports is reporting that Newcastle have agreed a deal to sign Shefki Kuqi on a free transfer.
It was only yesterday that it was reported that Shefki was in the frame, and the 6’2″ Finnish striker had only agreed to cancel his contract at Swansea last month, and so was available on a free transfer.
He was reported last night to be undergoing a medical at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle had previously been after free agents Jeremie Aliadiere, the French striker formerly at Arsenal and Middlesbrough, and Brazilian striker Ewerthon,
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew made the move, which is expected to be announced later today by the Newcastle club, to bolster his attacking options and we have to think one reason he chose the Finn is that he has height and power, and that matches in well with the strikers Newcastle are used to leading the line with.
Andy Carroll left his home town club only 9 days ago, and the other big local striker at the club, Shola Ameobi had his broken cheekbone operated on yesterday, but how long the Nigerian-born striker will be out, is not known at this time.,
34 year-old Kuqi has a wealth of experience having played for Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, Blackburn, Crystal Palace and Swansea during his career, and has agreed a short term deal through the end of the seaosn.
Kuqi will now join Leon Best, 19 tear-old Nile Ranger and Peter Lovenkrands as Newcastle’s recognized fit strikers, and is expected to go straight into the squad for Saturday’s important game at Blackburn.
This is purely a four month deal, and longer term it was reported yesterday that Newcastle may already be in talks with Bolton’s Johan Elmander, who is a free agent in the summer, to bring the powerful 6’4″ 29 year-old striker to Newcastle on a free transfer in the summer.
If Johan comes in, we would also expect the club to bring in a younger striker too, and pay for him with some of the massive £35M they received for local lad Andy Carroll from Liverpool last week.
Maybe 22 year-old Ricky Van Wolfswinkel of FC Utrecht would be a good target, but there seem many good strikers available.
Bringing in Kuqi seems a decent tactical move by Newcastle, simply to shore up their striking options through the end of the season, and the Yugoslavian-born player is likely to be used as an impact sub in most of the games.
We wish Shefki all the best on Tyneside.