Newcastle will bring in a a top center-back this summer.
Jan Vertonghen in action against Manchester United on Thursday
And from what we can tell there are four leading candidates that Newcastle have been linked with in the past, and they are Jan Vertonghen of Ajax, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa of Montpellier, James Tomkins of West Ham and Douglas of FC Twente, and they are in no particular order.
The most expensive of the four will probably be Jan Vertonghen, and it seems that both Tottenham and Arsenal could be after the same player in the summer.
Vertonghen was said to cost around £10M last January, but with his contract running out in eighteen months time he should be able to be brought in for less than that in the summer.
Tottenham were represented at Thursday night’s Ajax vs Manchester United Europa League game in Amsterdam, when two second half goals gave the Red Devils a good 2-0 win.
And Vertonghen had a good game against the Red Devils, and his manager Frank de Boer thinks the 6’3″ 24 year-old defender is good enough to become a big success in England’s top Premier League:
“Especially in the first half, it was very good, especially since we were playing against an English opponent,” ”Jan is already close to the level of Manchester United and he can still improve.”
“Especially as he moves forward through the midfield, he is so dangerous. He sometimes does that too little in my eyes. That’s a shame, because then his qualities are more conspicuous.”
Newcastle have other choices than Vertonghen, but the Belgium International is thought to be the choice of Chief Scout Graham Carr, although Douglas of FC Twente is a no nonsense player and the 6’4″ dominant Brazilian center-back would probably come cheaper than Vertonghen.
Of the four center-backs mentioned above Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa seems the favorite of most of our readers, and of course the Montpellier captain can play anywhere across the back-line.
Who Newcastle can attract to the club will depend on how high up in the league we finish in May, and whether the lads can qualify for European competition, and it looks like Spurs will be able to offer the European Champions League to players next season.
But there again their success has been through the excellent and astute management of Harry Redknapp, and he may not be around come August, as he is the odds-on favorite to be the FA’s choice to replace Fabio Capello as the England manager.
And Arsenal, after another woeful display, this time against AC Milan on Wednesday night in the European Champions League when they were hammered 4-0 and it could have been a lot worse, will surely need new defenders, and they have continually linked with the Belgium International.
We know it will also depend on what kind of deal Newcastle can get for a center-back, and Newcastle usually move quickly and we’re fairly sure there’s already been lots of work done behind the scenes by Newcastle for the summer transfer window.
With the performance of the defense being unacceptable in the two recent London games, conceding five goals each time against Fulham and Tottenham, maybe Newcastle will bring in two top defenders in the summer.
That’s what we’d like to see.
Here’s the results so far of our poll for the center-back targets: