When Newcastle were losing game in March and April – in fact losing every game we played – John Carver put it out that he had seen the players Newcastle were going after this summer and they were very good.
But there is a huge difference what your targets are and who you can get into the club – especially with the complete mess Newcastle looked to be in this year – where incompetence at all levels of the club almost saw us relegated on the last day of the season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – 20 year-old Anderlecht striker
Not for sale
We’d be surprised now with Steve McClaren coming in, if we can get any of our top targets in this summer.
As one example free agent Burnley striker Danny Ings is being linked with Liverpool and Tottenham, and Newcastle are hardly mentioned as a potential club he could join – at least not in the national press.
And now we hear that a target all this season, Anderlecht’s Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has 28 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions for Anderlecht this season, is not for sale – at least according to his Belgian club.
A few weeks ago Dragan Duric, the former President of Partizan, one of Mitrovic’s former clubs had said a deal had already been made between Newcastle and Anderlecht for £15M – if was supposed to be a done deal.
Yesterday the Anderlecht General Manager Herman van Holsbeeck had this to say:
“At 20, Mitrovic has scored 20 league goals this season.” “He scored against Arsenal, Dortmund and has also played for Serbia.”
“This is a striker who you know can improve a side.” “Therefore, we have decided against selling him. Mitro is aware and he wants to stay.”
Not sure whether that statement is to drive up his price, but Anderlecht is not a rich club and £15M is big money.
But with it now likely that Steve McClaren will become the head coach at Newcastle with John Carver as his assistant next week, Newcastle have completely blown their chance to show the fans they are ambitious – and not many good players will want to come to Newcastle this summer.
It’s likely to be hard grind for Graham Carr and Lee Charnley to get many good players through the door, and unless the club changes the way the club is run, Newcastle will continue to struggle to make the top half of the Premier League.
We’ve only achieved that twice in the last eight years.