If Newcastle cannot get Adrian Mariappa in from Watford before next Tuesday evening, who are the other targets Newcastle are pursuing?
Cesena’s Yohan Benalouane – available on loan
We know that a number of their top targets like James Tomkins are not available in January, but the 22 year-old could be available in the summer, if for example West Ham don’t gain promotion back to the Premier League.
Things change in six months in football and a lot of the targets Newcastle have been identified with this month, will remain targets in the summer, if they don’t arrive at Newcastle before the transfer window slams shut next Tuesday.
But Newcastle have to bring in a center-back as cover in the next four days, and if they are not successful with Mariappa they could try to bring Cesena center-back Yohan Benalouane in on loan for the rest of the season.
However, it appears that French club Auxerre are now interested in the center-back.
The 24 year-old Cesena defender has been a target of Newcastle in January, and the lad was born of Algerian parents in France, much like our own Ben Arfa.
And it seems that Hatem Ben Arfa has been letting Alan Pardew know just how highly he rates the 24 year-old center-back, who is not a regular in the Cesena side and has never played for Tunisia, but he has been capped once for the French U21 side.
But Newcastle scouts must see something in this lad, and it seems he would be available as a permanent transfer or as an initial loan deal, as he seems to only play the Cup games for the Italian side.
The reports yesterday on French radio station RMC were that Auxerre want to take the 24-year-old on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent transfer.
If Newcastle cannot get Mariappa in from Watford that would tend to put a spanner in the works if Newcastle were thinking of getting this lad in as cover for Coloccini and Williamson.
And when Alan said the following
“When we come in for a player suddenly another club gets interested and the prices start going up. Suddenly we get into a bidding war. That’s something we try to avoid.”
Alan is more likely to be talking about Mariappa since Swansea and Bolton are also said to be interested in the player.
Whatever Newcastle do, time is running out with only 4 days left in the transfer window, and we cannot say we are looking forward much to next Tuesday either.
That’s because we may get some rude awakenings, like happened with Andy Carroll a year ago, and if we can keep all our players by Wednesday – that will be a huge relief.