Newcastle have an opportunity right now to line up some deals to be completed in January.
Modibo Maiga – to arrive in January?
According to the Journal today, Newcastle were very close to landing Modibo Maiga on Wednesday from French club, Sochaux.
Derek LLambias was all ready to board a helicopter in London to do the deal in France, but Sochaux pulled the plug late on Wednesday afternoon, and with no real explanation to Newcastle.
Newcastle were also close to landing Erik Pieters of PSV a week ago, and in both cases the club was close to negotiating a fee with their respective clubs.
So why not do those deals now, get something signed, but agree the fee and execute the actual deals on January 1st.
Get something in writing in the next week, even it if means Newcastle raising their bids a little, to secure two very good players on January 1st.
Of course it’s much better to sign players early in the summer, since it gives them time to bed down at their new clubs, before the season starts.
And there are lots of examples of good players who don’t show up well in the season when they are signed in January, with Kevin Nolan at Newcastle and Edin Dzeko of Manchester City, being two good examples of that.
Presumably Newcastle know what they have to do to secure both Maiga and Pieters, and they could then get the job done in January.
And Pieters would still be a good buy, because Davide Santon can play right back, or even in midfield, and the defense certainly needs strengthening.
Come to think of it they could also bring in the experienced Liam Ridgewell from Birmingham City while they are at it, and send Nile Ranger the other way to help out Chris Hughton.
There you go, three good players to arrive on January 1st – it’s so easy.