It very much looks like it will go down to the wire with Newcastle’s pursuit of Charlie Austin, and it could be that Newcastle wait until late August, maybe even August 31st, for QPR to decide they would rather take around £13M for their top striker Charlie Austin, than get nothing for him next summer or a reduced fee in January.
Steve McClaren has already said he doesn’t expect any new players to arrive before the Premier League kicks off this weekend with the first round of games in the league.
Chancel Mbemba – great signing for Newcastle
The local press is reporting that Newcastle are still interested in signing a striker, a winger and a defender before the transfer window closes on Monday, 31st August – but we wonder if that will include another central defender.
Asked if he expected a signing before the Southampton game, this is what McClaren said after the game on Saturday:
“I would expect what we have got to start.¨ “Are we looking for more? There’s a lot of speculation out there, but nothing is happening at the present moment, believe you me.”
“There’s been a lot of talk about him (Charlie Austin) throughout the weeks.¨ “But we’ve not been in contact with QPR and they’re not with us so no, that’s just a name that circulates and has been going around.”
“There is a lot of work behind the scenes, and it has taken us quite a while to get the ones we have got – we’re pleased with them, very pleased, because of the quality.”
With Charlie Austin it looks like the Magpies will play a game of brinkmanship with QPR, and wait until late in August to see of QPR will accept £13M or less for the striker, who seems to be in on what Newcastle are trying to do.
So it could be another four weeks of this long drawn out saga with Charlie – that could be painful.
It also looks like Steve McClaren sees Coloccini as a starter who can provide the experience at the back, and Colo could well stay on as captain for this coming season.
Since Chancel Mbemba will be starting at center-back, then if McClaren brought in say Joel Matip of Schalke, there wouldn’t be any room for Coloccini.
The backups would be Jamaal Lascelles and one of Steven Taylor or Mike Williamson.
Paul Dummett and Daryl Janmaat also showed last season they can play in central defense.
We could well see a defender brought in, but one who is versatile and can play anywhere across the back four as a utility defender and can play specifically at right back, as good cover for Daryl Janmaat.
But we doubt that another top-class center-back like Mbemba will be brought in.
What do you think?