Last year at this time Newcastle had brought in Mehdi Abeid, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux, but no such luck this year, with only Romain Amalfitano and Gael Bigirimana having arrived on Tyneside so far.
New arrival Romain Amalfitano – and he thought he’d be playing football!
But those two deals were very good for Newcastle, with Romain being a free agent and looking a very good player from what we can tell, and Gael costing just £1M from Coventry City, and he’s reckoned to be one of the best young players in England at just 18 years old.
Newcastle have lost five first teamers and three of them had contracts that were not renewed – Danny Guthrie, Peter Lovenkrands and Alan Smith – and Leon Best has been signed by Blackburn for £3M and goalkeeper Fraser Forster has gone north of the border to Celtic for £2M.
So far Newcastle seem to be £4M up on their transfer business, but of course we’ve had no luck yet with our transfer targets, the major two being Luuk de Jong and Mathieu Debuchy.
And Jan Vertonghen was a target at center-back, but at £9M he was too expensive, so Newcastle didn’t both going after Jan, who will join Tottenham, and there’s a couple of reasons why Newcastle will not be bringing Luuk de Jong to Tyneside.
One is that the price asked by FC Twente of £16M is far too high, although Newcastle bid £11M for the lad, and the other reason is that he wants to join Borussia Monchengladbach, so Newcastle have pulled out of that deal, and are going after other targets.
We still think Newcastle have a decent chance of signing Mathieu Debuchy, and he would be a great signing, and maybe something can happen this week, since he’s now returned from holiday.
And Newcastle are said to have bid £5M for center-back Douglas of FC Twente, but with the 24 year-old Brazilian needing to stay in Holland until the end of August to fulfill some requirements from FIFA to play for Holland, that deal is still up in the air.
But we don’t expect Newcastle to waver much from the way they have conducted their transfer business over the last two years, where value for money is by far the number one consideration, and they will simply walk away from deals if they don’t perceive real value in a deal.
And we shouldn’t forget that Newcastle pay all their transfer fees up front so if they bid a million or two less than another club, who stretch the payments over three years – Newcastle still offer the better deal to the selling club.
We are buoyed at missing out on de Jong, only because the lad didn’t want to come to Newcastle, but we’d like to get Debuchy and Douglas in.
And as we’ve mentioned before, if Newcastle can bring one of two 19 year old strikers in – John Guidetti of Manchester City or Luc Castaignos of Inter-Milan – we’d be happy enough, and there was news last week that Newcastle had enquired about Guidetti, so we hope that’s true.
If Newcastle can bring in Debuchy, Douglas and Guidetti we’d be happy enough, but we may still need one or two more top class players through the door, and Newcastle also need to bring in a number of Development players.
18 year-old Bigirimana is one of those, and there’s a very good probability that the highly rated 19 year-old Curtis Good from Melbourne Heart will join Newcastle soon.
Any ideas who else we may need to bring into the first team squad this summer?
Note on Malware problem:
I removed one bit of code last night that was causing the malware problem, but when I got up this morning (2:30 am US eastern time) it was still not OK – and after trawling through the site I found the other piece of bad code and have removed it, and requested GOOGLE to retest the site – and I am hopeful we’ll be clean after that test. I am aware of the problem and am working like crazy to fix it.