With lots of Newcastle central defensive targets seemingly unavailable in January, we wonder who will be coming through the door today.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – Montpellier captain – would be great buy
We suppose if Newcastle can get a good center-back in before 11:00 pm tonight, that will be enough to go with top striker Papiss Cisse, who was surprisingly signed by Newcastle a couple of weeks ago.
As far as who that center-half will be, we’ve been linked with quite a few in the last few months.
22 year-old James Tomkins is not available from West Ham, but Newcastle may go after him in the summer, and Ajax’ 24 year-old Jan Vertonghen is also not available, although his transfer price of up to £10M may be too much for Newcastle.
Newcastle have now had three bids turned down for Watford’s 25 year-old Adrian Mariappa, and we don’t think the club will go back in for him – the last bid was said to be around £2.5M and we started off with £750K.
The local press were reporting that Newcastle would switch their attentions to the continent, with the failure to bring in Mariappa, and we have been linked with Montpellier defender and captain 22 year-old Mapou Yanga Mbiwa.
And there were rumors he may even be traveling to Newcastle for a medical a day or two ago, but no more news on that front, although we think he would be a terrific buy at around £4M for the club.
Cesena’s 24 year-old Yohan Benalouane is a possibility, and since he seems to only play Cup games at the Italian club, the Frenchman with Tunisian parents could possibly be coming in on a loan deal through the end of the season.
Newcastle could also go after some “unknown” youngster and we were linked with 19 year-old Danish defender Jores Okore of FC Nordsjælland earlier in the week. The 19 year-old center-back has been impressive this season and already has two caps for Denmark, although he was born in the Ivory Coast. From what we can tell Jores looks a top young player in the making.
And two English center-backs we have been linked with are Brighton’s 19 year-old Lewis Dunk, who played against us on Saturday afternoon at the Amex Stadium, and Sheffield United’ Harry Maguire, the very impressive 18 year-old.
So those are most of the center-backs we have been linked with in this transfer window, but absolutely no news coming out of the club about anything so far today.
As we said, we’d be happy enough with a good center-back coming in today, but we’d also like to see a youngster or two arriving.
But it seems that 18year-old Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison is likely to be joining West Ham today and not Newcastle.