Big Breakthrough Possible – But It Will Be Tough

Steve McClaren has said today we are close on one or two players and most people are assuming those two are PSV midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Anderlecht striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, and yesterday in Italy it was even suggested that Aleksandar would be in Newcastle today to discuss  a deal.

We doubt that is true, and while we seem to be in good shape with Georginio – it will be a tough sell for Newcastle to get Aleksandar in.

Both transfer fees are said to be €16M (£11.3M) – and if they go through they would beat the highest transfer fee since paid out since Mike Ashley took over in 2007 – that was the £10.3M we paid Deportivo for Fabricio Coloccini back in August, 2008.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic – in the black and white stripes of Partizan

What seems to be true about Newcastle and Mitrovic from various sources is a bit of a twist – with only Newcastle willing to pay the €16M Anderlecht want for their striker – while other clubs interested – such as Roma and Porto – don’t seem willing or able to pay that much for him.

Roma seem unwilling and Porto just don’t have that kind of money available.

A twist indeed.

Steve McClaren welcomed the press to training at the club’s Darsley Park training headquarters today, and most journalists were impressed with the training and openness of the club.

The journalists were welcomed in a cordial and open manner – so that was good.

But we think a lot of that is Steve McClaren’s doing,  and we hope it continues so the relationship between the press and Newcastle improves big time – soon.

This is some of what Steve McClaren said today:

“It’s about getting the right players here. There has been a lot of speculation and we are close on one or two. But in the transfer market, you can be close or you can be miles away.¨

“It doesn’t really matter at one point, just so long as we get the right players. But it would be nice if we could get one or two; if not, we’ll just have to be a little bit more patient and make sure we get the right players.”

“There’s a long way to go before the end of the window, there are still quite a few weeks before the start of the season and it’s important what you have at the close of the window.¨

“Everybody is waiting for it, expecting it. Everybody knows what the objectives are and everybody knows that we have got good players here. But we need to improve on that.”

If the club can get Wijnaldum and Mitrovic in, it would be a huge breakthrough for the club and a big relief for fans, with the probability that the remaining season tickets would be sold fairly quickly.

But we still need center-backs brought in,  although we now have all  of them  fit right now for the first time for almost 18 months – Coloccini, Taylor(S), Williamson, Lascelles and Good – so if we do bring reinforcements in – which is a must – one or two of them will be sold or go out on loan.

But maybe the second player Steve refers to is not Mitrovic – it could be center-back Joel Matip of Schalke, or Marseilles midfielder Florian Thauvin.

Either of those two would be very good too.

But we have still to make our first  signing this summer – but hopefully that will be soon.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.