Newcastle seem very close to signing 20 year-old left back Massadio Haidara from Nancy, 23 year-old French International defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpelier, 26 year-old striker Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux, and 22 year-old Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse, although Moussa may be signing a pre-contract agreement to join the club for free, when his contract ends in June.
Mike Ashley – fully involved in transfers since late last week
When you remember that Ben Arfa is due back in a couple of weeks – and the great Yohan Cabaye returned last Saturday and was simply magnificent in midfield, then Newcastle’s squad suddenly looks a lot stronger than it was in December, even though Demba Ba has left us.
And yes – we caution that nothing is official until announced by the club – so we are hoping there will be some announcements on new players tomorrow.
Sissoko had a choice between Marseilles and Newcastle United, and chose Newcastle (obviously an intelligent lad), where his pal Yohan Cabaye could end up as captain, if Fabrico Coloccini leaves the club this month.
That’s one loose end that is not yet tied up – so we hope to hear something on that soon – maybe tomorrow – although we’d still be shocked if Newcastle let him return to Argentina.
Newcastle have moved with commendable (lightning?) speed and shown great initiative to get these players lined up and almost over the line, and it’s always difficult to do these deals in January – half way through the season.
And it’s more than interesting that Mike Ashley only got fully involved with the transfers at the end of last week – after we missed out on that guy who chose money over Newcastle United – always a bad choice.
If this is what happens when Mike Ashley gets involved with transfers, then we really hope the owner gets involved much more often.
The other good news is that all four new arrivals could be announced sometime tomorrow, and will have a week to prepare for our next game a week tonight at Villa Park – another vital game for Newcastle.
The subs bench will be a lot stronger for that game with Steven Taylor expected to return to the fray after another week’s training this week.
And while we don’t want to be too greedy – there’s still lots of time to sign Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon – after Ricky was a target our ours in the summer of 2010, and news is that we would have to pay out €12M (£9.8M) to get the Dutch International – hey that’s cheap at the price.
If we can indeed get these players over the line and Yohan, Steven Taylor and the great Ben Arfa back in the fray – we should have a strong team – and then it’s up to Alan Pardew and the coaches to start getting the job done.
And no more excuses – please.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org