Newcastle Raise The Stakes For Top Midfielder

The report in Eurosport France yesterday that Newcastle were in advanced talks to sign 25 year-old Moussa Sissoko has been slammed by inside sources at Newcastle, according to a number of local papers, but there are still two clubs, Arsenal and PSG, who are said to be interested in signing the powerfully built midfielder.

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Moussa Sissoko – £25M price tag

With Newcastle trying to appoint a new head coach soon, it wouldn’t look good if Mike Ashley sells Newcastle’s top player in this January transfer.

The news is that Newcastle have put a high price on Moussa’s head – said to be around £25M, and certainly more than we got for Yohan Cabaye last January.

As we know every player at Newcastle can be sold at any time, and each has a price on their head,  set by owner Mike Ashley.

So we suppose if that’s true, as long as the price is ridiculously high, then we suppose that’s OK.

Newcastle didn’t want to sell Andy Carroll four years ago, so Newcastle kept increasing the fee but Liverpool kept coming back and in the end agreed to pay a staggering £35M for Andy – in cool cash up front and Andy was gone.

Some fans thought we let Yohan go too cheaply last January for £20M – so at least it seems if Moussa goes this January, it will be for a huge transfer fee – and we only paid £2M for him a short two years ago from Toulouse.

Of course if Sissoko does leave, the chances of Newcastle replacing him before the end of this transfer window will be remote.

If he does go for £25M,  other clubs will be well aware of that, and will tend to raise the price of any player Newcastle are interested in – quite significantly.

We hope Moussa stays on board at Newcastle,  and who knows we may have a new French coach in Remi Garde quite soon.

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20 comments so far

  • Ian Toon

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #1

    Pardew was a firewall between Ashley and toon fans.
    Move on – we have pending problems. Pardew is part of our history.

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #2

    From previous article:
    Newcastle is one of the best known English clubs in France, largely thanks to DAVEED Ginola, of blessed memory. Many French people are under the illusion we still play the same type of attractive football!

  • Slank

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #3



    If it is Garde let’s give him the chance and the time to show what he can do.

    It is always going to be a risk whoever arrives such is the very nature of football management. For teams outside of the top table like Newcastle, with their appalling record of not winning anything domestic in the last 60 years, it will be very difficult.

    After all Sir Bobby and Keagan, who most fans would regard as our best managers, won nothing at the club. Therefore having a great track record in football management and no record in football management prior to their appointments at the club produced the same result.

    Nothing is guaranteed.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Regardless of who gets the job we have to give them a chance. Nothing will be fixed over night. We may not see any real development till next season.

  • Slank

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #5


    Being interested (Arsenal and PSG) is totally different to ‘advanced talks’ or even ‘talks’.

    I’m sure we are interested in many players (and Head Coaches).

    It sounds like someone in France is trying to destabilise Sissoko. His agent perhaps or PSG ?

  • catchy in norway

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #6

    Cyprus JFA TS

    I will reply a little later to the comments a couple of threads back

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #7


    It’s always how it works, people leak information when it suits them, exaggerate stories and journos are more than happy to run it as it sells papers.

    Hard to trust anything during silly season, but there is usually something going on when players are linked, but not always exactly what’s written.

  • JDdubai

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #8

    I picked Garde as my choice before he was mentioned by any of the press at all.

    Ran Lyon well
    Still highly thought of by their fans
    Is used to having to sell players each season for profit
    Excelled at bringing through youth from the academy

    It all fitted in my head of what Ashley would want from a coach.

    Still….Ashley needs to go. If we could get Garde in and Ashley buggers off by summer then there would really be cause for optimism.

  • Mister Tuff

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #9

    Ian Toon – do you realise that in your previous post about entrenched views – you were subconciously describing yourself.
    You’ve subsequently “changed horses” pretty damned quick.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #10


    People (on the whole) are more than happy to give a manager time if they see progression and him following through with his claims. The man utd fans have been great with Van Gaal as he said himself, getting cheered for defeats/draws was new for him.

    People didn’t give pardew more time as the things he said didn’t match up with what we saw on the pitch.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #11

    Career Record: Garde has managed Lyon since June of 2011 and in that time has gone 61-26-31 (51.28% or 1.76 points per match). That’s it. That’s the only club he’s managed. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s totally inexperienced as a manager. He was Lyon’s assistant manager from 2003-2011, which, if you recall, was smack dab in the middle of their run of seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles. Garde served as the number two for Claude Puel, Paul le Guen, Gerard Houllier, and Alain Perrin before getting handed the top job.

    Accomplishments: Garde has two trophies to his name as a manager. The Coupe de France and the Trophee des Champions. The latter is France’s version of the Community Shield, so take that for what you will. As an assistant he saw Lyon win 11 other titles. So success isn’t exactly foreign to this guy. As a player he won Ligue 2 with Lyon. He also won several trophies in the Premier League too.

    Before he was a football manager: Garde was a defensive midfielder and sweeper for Lyon in the late eighties and early nineties. He helped the club secure promotion to Ligue 1 and made 145 appearances for the club. He then moved to Strasbourg for a few seasons we he helped the club win an Intertoto Cup (*fart noise*). Now, here’s where you’re going to immediately reject this guy. In 1996, at the age of 30, Garde moved from France to…….Arsenal. He joined on the same day as a guy named Patrick Vieira. In three years on the red side of North London Garde played in 30 matches. He retired from football in 1999.

    After his playing career ended, he spent time as a football pundit, before returning to Lyon as assistant manager in 2003. He was known for being one of the better talent evaluators in all of France and he had a heavy amount of input on transfer signings with Sporting Director Bernard Lacombe and Club President Jean-Michel Aulas. In 2010 he became the director of Lyon’s famed youth academy and in 2011 he was finally handed the reigns to the first-team.

    Tactical analysis: Do you want tactical flexibility? Because Garde has tactical flexibility. This season alone, Garde and Lyon have used five different tactical formations. And that’s just what they used to start matches. Garde primarily plays a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1. The 4-4-2 traditionally features a diamond midfield with Maxim Gonalons as the holder and Clement Grenier as the attacking midfielder. The other two midfielders are given more license to roam. These season, with much more attacking talent on the wings, Garde has adapted to occasionally play a 4-2-3-1, though his team was more successful using the diamond.

    Garde’s teams tend to play possession football and, as one of the most technically skilled sides in Ligue 1, they don’t tend to meet much resistance. Where Garde’s team struggles this year was getting shots inside the box. Sound familiar? Now, this is easily explainable. The club’s best striker Bafetimbi Gomis spent most of the first few months of the season on the sideline either injured or being a malcontent. Sound familiar? When he returned to the team, he was excellent and a real aerial threat in the box. His teams like to press high up the pitch, but he’s never really had the most disciplined players to work with, so the press hasn’t always worked well. Lots of his attackers are pretty lax in their defensive duties and don’t like to track back. Imagine a band of three attacking midfielders that put in the same amount of defensive effort as Rafael van der Vaart and you’ve got a rough approximation of what Garde has been working with.

    Here’s the major bad thing about Garde’s Lyon teams. The number of individual errors that their defenders make is staggering. You think it’s rough watching Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches screw around at the back, then I challenge you to watch a couple of matches Milan Bisevac and Samuel Umtiti. It’s a freaking horror show. Lyon consistently have an excellent attack but the individual errors at the back have cost them so many points. Now, maybe this means that Garde is just a big picture guy, that he’s not drilling the team on their concentration, positioning, etc. I honestly believe it’s a product of him having such a young and inexperienced team. However, you can certainly see that he’s not a defensive taskmaster.

    This guy sucks; why is he on the list?: I mean, yeah. This guy sounds like Tim Sherwood, right? Former academy director, lots of individual errors in defense, etc. Plus, he’s a former Arsenal player. Honestly, he’s on the list because he’s one of the better managers in France and is certainly a reasonable hire for Spurs. As someone who watches a lot of Ligue 1, there’s not a lot of great coaching talent in the league, especially now that Rudi Garcia has left for Roma. Garde and Garcia’s replacement and Lille, René Girard, are probably the two best managers in France (not counting the recently appointed Marcelo Bielsa).

    For me though, the big draw for Garde is his development of young players. Say what you will about Sherwood, but he through young guys (or at least Nabil Bentaleb) out there and let them learn. Garde’s Lyon team had nine players under the age of 23 make at least 10 appearances. Some of those players made huge impacts. As a former academy director, Garde understands what young players need to develop. Tottenham have a pretty great crop of young guys right now and I can almost guarantee that Garde would not only utilize them, but utilize them in the way that best showcases their ability.

    That’s Garde’s write up when he was linked to spurs this summer, sounds promising if you ask me. But can’t say I’ve seen much of his team.


    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #12

    just put 50mil… why 25mil

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #13

    Cheers for posting that, Transfer.

    Boydonegood, thanks for your input on the last thread too.

  • Slank

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #14

    That’s a good analysis TS, thanks

  • optimistic prime

    Jan 7, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #15


    Will your next post be War and Peace?


  • BoyDoneGood

    Jan 7, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #16

    On a final Pardew note, comparing selling clubs and buying clubs, that highly regarded coach Brendan Rogers has achieved 29 points after years of spending £50 million per annum. If (giving him the reasonable benefit of the doubt) Pardew had been in charge and taken 3 points against Burnley, Newcastle would be on the same 29. It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it.

  • Bryan

    Jan 7, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #17

    Does it really matter how much we receive for our best players, 1m or 25m that money never gets used to buy a suitable replacement. All that’s left is a weakened team and a stronger balance sheet.

  • toonbrother

    Jan 7, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #18

    excellent post transfer sage

  • toonbrother

    Jan 7, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #19

    “Garde has two trophies to his name as a manager. The Coupe de France and the Trophee des Champions. The latter is France’s version of the Community Shield, ”

    says it all really

  • gfp13

    Jan 7, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #20

    People having saying garde isn’t good enough because of his lack of trophies in France have to be kidding right? Yes it’s a lower level of football but when they have to try and topple someone like psg with 10 times the bank balance they are gonna struggle. He has the equivalent of an FA cup and community… That’s more than all of the newcastle managers in my life time. We aren’t even in Europe and people are saying we should get klopp and stuff… Let’s be realistic, we aren’t a very attractive looking club to come in and manage at the moment because of how it’s ran and this guy will be amongst the best we have available


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