Here is a compilation of the main news that has happened this week in the life of Newcastle United. We sold Leon Best and Fraser Forster for a combined £5M, and brought top youngster Gael Bigirimana to the club for around £1M from Coventry City, and James Tavernier signed a new three year deal at Newcastle.
Gael Bigirimana - new arrival at Newcastle
Here is last week’s news on our club.
- The week started off with it looking like the £10M bid for Luuk de Jong would be the last one we would make and Newcastle would move on to look at other strikers. And that looks to have been true, with Newcastle looking at other potential striker targets.
- And on the same day it was announced that Leon Best had joined Blackburn Rovers for £3M, and he would be playing in the Championship next season, and the reports suggested he got an excellent four year deal at the Lancashire club.
- There had been reports that Papiss Cisse would be one of the three players allowed to represent Senegal at the London Olympics this summer, and news that Alan Pardew had moved to block his involvement. And Alan was within his rights because a club can refuse a player’s involvement at the Olympics, when he is one of those three over 23 years old. And it worked out, as we heard yesterday that neither Papiss Cisse nor Demba Ba were part of the Senegal Olympics squad.
- It was expected news that Newcastle would switch their attaention to other strikers, after seemingly missing out on their top target Luuk de Jong. We mentioned a couple of 19 year-olds who would be good buys for Newcastle. 20 year-old Swede John Guidatti who is at Manchester City, and 19 year-old Dutchman Luc Castaignos, who joined Inter-Milan last summer from Feyenoord. Both want first team football next season – will they get that at Newcastle?.
- And news that the France Football Federation would be investigating four players for misbehavior during Euro 2012, and they included Newcastle’s Ben Arfa. The results will probably be various levels of suspension foe each of the players, which is what the FFF did after the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, after the terrible goings on with their players at that time. Is this now going to be a French ritual after each major tournament?
- And there was news that PSG would be willing to let their top defender Mamadou Sakho leave the club. The 22 year-old is a top player who can play at center-back or left back, but the 6’2″ French International would probably be too expensive for Newcastle. There has been no more news on this story since then – that’s a pity.
- Lots of news on Mathieu Debuchy last week, but nothing really new. Mathieu was due back at the end of the week from holiday and was expected to tell his club, Lillie, that he wanted to leave and join Newcastle. Debuchy news could break any day now, and we hope it’s good news for Newcastle fans, because this lad would be great in black and white stripes – no doubt about that.
- Newcastle seem to be in a bit of a stalemate with Brazilian center-back Douglas, after having a £5M bid accepted by his club FC Twente. But the 24 year-old is in some demand, and news that a top Russian club had also met the price Twente were asking for him, but no more news on this since then.
- Probably not the first time these two players have been linked with the Red Devils but reports that both Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba were targets for Alex Ferguson. And that wouldn’t be too much of a surprise, because both players had great games when we tore Manchester United apart 3-0 at St. James’ Park in early January. Thinks – I must watch that game again next week.
- And really good news for Newcastle fans that James Tavernier signed a new three year deal to keep him at Newcastle, and he tweeted the news from his Twitter account. The last contract the right back had at Newcastle ran out last Sunday – so this is good news indeed and the lad is one of the top youngsters on Tyneside.
- And finally, after a long running saga, Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster joined Celtic for a fee thought to be £2M. We had half expected Fraser to try to stay in England with Rangers now out of the SPL, and TV networks already considering whether they should be broadcasting the Scottish games next season, because there will not be those Rangers vs Celtic derbies. This could be a very difficult time for Scottish league football.
So the bottom line is that we moved two players out this week for a good £5M.
- And really great news yesterday that Newcastle had won the race to sign top holding midfielder Gael Bigirimana from Coventry City, for a fee believed to be around £1M. This 18 year-old is highly rated indeed, and while he will begin life at Newcastle in the Development squad, he will quickly move into the first team squad next season – great news for Newcastle fans.
- And an interesting interview with Italian Davide Santon with the Italian media, and he reveals that Roma asked permission to speak to him this summer, and Newcastle denied permission. Davide will need to keep improving next season, but we still think this Italian International (7 caps), who is captaining the Italian U21 side at the moment, can become a top player for Newcastle.
- The news we had been waiting for – that FC Twente want £16M for their star striker Luuk de Jong, and the player himself was not very pleased that he may be priced out of a move by his Dutch club. Even Borussia Monchengladbach are balking at that ridiculous fee. But the bad news is that it seems that Luuk prefers to move to the German club – so be it.
- And news that Cheick Tiote could be in big demand this summer, but our view is that if Newcastle want to keep building and being more and more successful in the years ahead, it becomes more important to keep our very best players and build a top squad – and we think that’s exactly what Mike Ashley wants to do.
- Good news for Newcastle fans when Alan Pardew came out yesterday and said he thought that new boy Gael Bigirimana could challenge Newcastle first teamers next season, for a place in the side. We know Gael is very good, and it will be interesting to see how much this lad comes through next season, but he also has plenty of time of course, and should not be rushed. He seems a smashing lad.
- And today former Arsenal and French International winger Robert Pires, has come out and urged Mathieu Debuchy to join Newcastle United, which he calls one of the top clubs in England. Well that’s a good start today, but we also must remember whatever news may be in the papers – it is a Sunday.
- Not too much more news today – so far – but that may change before the day is out – I may even make some stuff up.