Rafa Going All Out To Close His First Ever Signing For Newcastle


After Rafa Benitez was introduced last night as the new manager at Newcastle for the next three years (at least),  there is news tonight that Rafa wants to bring in Fulham’s prolific Scottish striker Ross McCormack for £12M – which is the release amount in his contract.

One difficulty Newcastle had over the last two seasons was having a proven goalscorer in their ranks and certainly Ross is that – at least in the Championship – and in two seasons at Fulham since he joined them from Leeds United, he has 42 goals and 22 assists in 100 games.

ross McCormack _3187245

Ross McCormack – Rafa’s first real transfer target

The news in the Mail is that Rafa Benitez is keen to make the 29-year-old his first signing ever for Newcastle, as he looks to quickly strengthen the side for next season in the Championship.

There is also interest from Aston Villa and Norwich City, but having Rafa Benitez at Newcastle must be a huge draw for a player like McCormack – and there’s some hope Newcastle will be straight back in the Premier League next May.

Rafa is now in charge of all football matters at the club – and if Rafa thinks the 29 year-old is what Newcastle need then so be it – and Managing Director Lee Charnley will back him in that.

Middlesbrough tried to sign the 29 year-old in January but there’s some hope that Newcastle could tie up this deal before the Euro 2016 Championships begin on 10th June – in 16 days time.

Fulham only just avoided relegation last season, but Ross still scored a very good 23 goals so in a (hopefully) successful Newcastle side next season,  heaven knows how many goals he could score for the Magpies.

Rafa has been working for the last 10 days or so at his home in the Wirral in Cheshire and has drawn up a number of transfer targets which he has already shared with Lee Charnley and it’s now very likely they will try to get a few of them signed up before June 10th.

And some of the good news Rafa gave at his press conference last night at 7:00 pm was that he doesn’t have to sell any player currently in the squad just to balance the books, but has been told he can keep any player in the squad he wants to keep for the coming season.

Expect Rafa to become very busy in the next several days as he attempts to make a quick breakthrough in the transfer market.

This man is the perfect manager for Newcastle United and he said he would like to emulate what the great Sir Bobby Robson did for the club in the five years he managed Newcastle from 1999.

Bobby had us in the Champions League twice after saving the club from relegation in his first year at the club, and we finished 4th, 3rd and 5th in Bobby’s last three seasons at his home town club.

Comments welcome.



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94 comments so far

  • GeordieTwo

    May 25, 2016 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #1

    I just want to repeat my statement about basking in the glow of the Rafa signing. What other top manager would have come and then stayed on after relegation. Far too few I would think.

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  • Shadow_Shearer

    May 25, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #2

    This guy looks good in the championship, but will he cut it in the premiership???

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 25, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #3

    Who among us really understands beermonkey? I don’t and I work with him every day. A man of few words he gets the job done. I’m not sure you lot know he is also my bodyguard and stunt double. Below is a recent picture of us in action:
    http://c8.alamy.com/comp/BP9CCF/jack-lemmon-peter-falk-the-great-race-1965-BP9CCF.jpg

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #4

    Shadow,
    History says probably not. Still, what could effect to a £12million payment on an experienced goalscorer at this level, who will be valuable to the tune of at least £5-8million next summer for any other Championship club is an absolute bargain when you consider the value of promotion.

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 25, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #5

    That’s me on the left…. or is that me on the right? The resemblance is amazing…….

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 25, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #6

    And I finally got a response even if it was a nasty one, still a result. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 25, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    Comment #7

    I like the idea of bringing in McCormack. He looks decent. Yes, he’s 30 in August but he’s a savvy pro to replace Cisse. I suspect he would pot 20 with us.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    Comment #8

    G2,
    I anticipate a steep fall from grace for me, as my match viewings will be severely limited by poor internet here and the lack of Championship football on TV. At least in the Prem we would be on one of the channels probably around 32-35 times out of 38.

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  • Burni

    May 25, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    Comment #9

    You know… ive posted on here for years. But when i come on now 90% of the comments are yees lot fighting like fish wifeys about who said what and how someones opinion is right to the others.

    I think u may all need to take a step back and realise the big picture (on this blog anyway) is abkut supporting nufc. After all there are much worse things in the world.

    for now….. be happy that rafa has signed… be positive for what the future brings and for god sake stop picking dights with people from behind a keyboard

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #10

    McCormack could be a good seasoned pro to bring in to help Arma develop as well. McCormack isn’t top drawer, but I’m sure his experience and career have taught him things that Arma would find very valuable next season, and for his future career.

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  • ToonTiger

    May 25, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #11

    Cisse replacement

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  • JamesToon

    May 25, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #12

    Lads let’s not get ahead of ourselves and talk about prem yet, championship is a very hard league and will require more fight than ever.

    Think McCormack would be a decent signing as he’s proven goalscorer. Alternative could be Nahki Wells? We’ll leave it up to Rafa as he finally now has full control 🙂

    Think coloccini, Taylor, Cisse, Riviere and Gouffran should defo all leave as I really don’t think they have enough to offer us anymore. Next task for Rafa is also to sort out Aarons contract, revamp the scouting and youth academy and ask for the training facilities to be overhauled

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  • magscar

    May 25, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #13

    Shadow

    My thoughts as well but we need to get out of the Championship at first time of asking and he looks to have the goals to do it at that level (Fulham and Leeds). Good freekicks as well.

    We need a 20 goal a season man from somewhere. What else would £12M buy you?

    If he isn’t up to Premiership and we are promoted but has scored goals should attract a reasonable fee if we sold on.

    It’s in Mail so who knows if it’s true?

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #14

    Probably Perez as well. I imagine they could both learn from McCormack’s experience and nous.

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 25, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #15

    Don’t worry Lilongwe mate, I’m in the same boat. I can’t get Championship football in Canada. Very disappointing. I just hope it’s only for 1 season.

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  • magscar

    May 25, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #16

    Burni

    Now that the most positive signing since KK and SBR has occurred the Blog will evolve. Surely the recriminations over Ashley’s follies will take a back seat as a new era is dawning. A brave one? – who knows but it sure seems different.

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 25, 2016 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #17

    It is a bit of a problem Burni mate. Still we’ve got some top, top Bloggers as well. Some seasoned pros who know their footy. I try to keep them all in line but sometimes it gets a bit wild and I take a bit of a break.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #18

    G2,
    I’m sure. Still, for you there should still be a reasonable amount of streaming available. For me, I need a spare 8 hours and the patience of a saint to watch a first half most of the time! (Exaggerated, and it is getting better – pangono pangono – slowly slowly.)

    Still, it will allow me to do more work with football here, so a small silver lining I guess, and slow down the onset of a beer belly.

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  • GeordieTwo

    May 25, 2016 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #19

    Yes, there is that Lilongwe. Usually my streaming leads to various web disasters and viruses on my computer though. Have to watch that. I’m going to try to find a way though. And you have us on here to fill you in on the matches.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #20

    magscar,
    Less talk of ‘brave new era’s’. I don’t even think there is a need yet to discuss Ashley’s pros and cons. Did we not go through this last summer when we entered a previous new era?

    The appointment of Rafa is great and positive step forward. I’m looking forward to seeing the winds of change breeze through the club, and the knock on effect. Some of it will be quick, some not so.

    This is an opportunity to (re)build the club and give us something to be proud of again. No need to rehash old ground, but also no need to gloss over the previous 9 years and paint all the roses red, surely. Bit by bit trust can be rebuilt, there isn’t a short term fix, and it is foolish for people to suggest an immediate change of heart on the matter.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #21

    G2,
    Ha, if I follow the games based on what is said on here I’ll end up more confused than Cisse after he was told he would be playing Debuchy’s supporting role on the right flank by Pardew!

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  • magscar

    May 25, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #22

    Lilo

    Point about what an experienced striker can bring apart from his goals is well made and might even help Mitro if he stays as McCormack looks sharper in the box. Also apparently good with assists.

    £12M though – is there better out there and would he hit the ground running in Championship? Seems high fee for a player who many doubt would prosper in PL but promotion next season from his goals return would make him worth every penny.

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  • jane

    May 25, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #23

    relegation and the fans are really happy…result!

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  • expatmag

    May 25, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #24

    Mitrovic will sc ore 20 plus in the championship. I see he scored for Serbia last night

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  • bettyswallocks

    May 25, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #25

    Ross McCormack my arse…….Benitez out.

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    May 25, 2016 at 11:29 PM

    Comment #26

    Brilliant news today. It’s not a surprise as I was pretty sure it’d be concluded with how Rafa was talking before hand. It was just a matter of whether the divvies in charge would match the Rafa wish list.

    Great to hear him say in his interview about a big influence being his reception from the fans, especially the last game of the season. From many of the same fans who would not stand for lower league dross that we’ve had before.

    For all the nonsense about fans’ disapproval of poor managers, it also works the other way, with a phenomenal backing from a proper manager, one which has led him not only to come here, but stay with us in a lower league.

    Excellent work to all who believed and supported some change.

    Hopefully Rafa will do a great job. I can’t wait for the season to start.

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    May 25, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #27

    A plus and a selling point to current and incoming players isn’t just that we’ll look to be promoted in one season, it’s that Rafa can also say that he’s aiming for a shot at the cups next year, which is realistic depending on the players who are kept and brought in.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #28

    magscar,
    McCormack has hit the ground running in every Championship season. Would he do the same again here? No guarantees, but hard to argue with any real defence saying he wouldn’t.

    I do agree he can’t cut it next level up, but that isn’t his fault, he has found a level he succeeds at, and has done well over the last few years. If he does well for us – which will be a better publicised stage – then his value will hold, and interest will still be there from other clubs for him.

    We paid £2million fees plus wages for a year of Remy just to keep Prem football, if we pay £4million plus wages for a player who contributes goals, assists and helps our youngsters learn to earn the rewards of promotion, it isn’t much to pay.

    When we have been linked with McCormack in the past, I haven’t wanted him, I don’t think he can do it in the Prem, but the Championship seems to be his bread and butter. I think we could do a lot worse (we could probably do a lot better as well).

    However, not convinced he is on Rafa’s list, and if he is a target, I’d again look at what has changed. We have been linked regularly with him, so is obviously on our radar. How much has Rafa followed him whilst at Inter and Real? I’m sure he has spoken to people about him since, but I’d argue if he does come, it is a Carr based recommendation akin to last summer and January.

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  • magscar

    May 25, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    Comment #29

    Lilo@20

    Never said it was a Brave one (merely mentioned before someone else tagged me with it) but I feel now ( as I posted some weeks ago) that this club is on a threshold similar to those when KK and SBR signed.

    Neither were able to win things but under KK I saw the best football from my club in my lifetime and looked forward to each match. Similar under SBR but not always so entertaining – should have got him years before we did.

    Different era now and different challenges but compared to when KK and SBR were appointed I would say Rafa is in his prime. What we have is a new hope but no guarantee.

    Leicester haven’t broken the mould by any means and next season will see PL return to a more usual look I think. If we win promotion then following seasons will prove difficult to break into European places. If club can finally pull together and with fans united we can be a force but top 4 will be a difficult ask given our starting position under Rafa. I know KK managed it but there were different times when we ,Villa, Norwich and Leeds were challenging at top not moneybags like Man City or Chelsea.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #30

    expat,
    He did. 9 goals in your debut season in a relegated club whilst still just 21 is good going. Lukaku’s third season of regular Prem football (season before this) yielded just 10. He has huge areas to improve on, and certain areas that you have to accept won’t be a strength, but if he plays you set up to suit him. Something we rarely did this year.

    I’d love to see him surrounded by pace next season. Rafa is a big fan of 4231, but I’d love to see it as more of a 433 when n the ball with Townsend/Arma/Aarons/Redmond(?) as the two playing off him. He needs to be sharper, and react quicker – Villa was a great example where the spin on the ball forced him to change, but he just couldn’t quickly enough.

    I do think he will prove far too much for Championship defences, and that confidence will hopefully drive his development forward.

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  • AmericanMagpie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #31

    With all this elation from Rafa signing on, would anyone rather us finish 4th bottom wtih McClaren as manager?

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  • BandB

    May 25, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #32

    I belive Mitrovic had the third best goals to assists ratio for a man of his age in the Premiership after Deli Alli and another bloke.
    Not unimpressive.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 25, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #33

    magscar,
    I only mentioned brave new era as you did. I agree, it is an exciting time. I’m not arguing against that. Trophies would be lovely, but for me, and I know this isn’t for everyone I want it done the right way. A sheik/Oligarch/A.N.O isn’t it.

    I liked Ashley’s plan, his vision. He didn’t want to execute it correctly, he wanted to cut corners. For the first time in his tenure, or maybe since the last vaguely respectable man in Mort arrived, we have someone in place who fans can have some respect for.

    From what I’ve read tonight, the disagreements Burni refers to came because a poster felt we should just white wash over the previous 9 years if Rafa has some success. I think the vibe on here is more positive than in a long time – even in our 5th placed season there were dissenting voices. Rafa staying seems to have gained the full support of everyone, and I don’t see why anyone would bring the Ashley argument out.

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  • magscar

    May 25, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Comment #34

    I think we need to see who Rafa looks to keep as that will give some indication of how he may want to play. If he keeps Gini (possible) Perez (likely) DeJong (not sure) he is likely to look more at No 10 role and if so where would McCormack fit into this – or rotate with Mitro as No 9?

    He might want to have options for 442 as well as his seemingly favoured 4231. Haven’t seen much of Championship so don’t know how most sides set up but flexibility during and in games against different opposition would be of benefit.

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  • manxpie

    May 26, 2016 at 12:02 AM

    Comment #35

    Lilo tbf mark Douglas asked a similar question straight after in asking if the slate should now be wiped clean regarding Ashley

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 26, 2016 at 12:04 AM

    Comment #36

    Manx,
    Yeah, it shows how off the pulse Thomson House are. I haven’t seen any of it, but who responded, and what was the response?

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  • BandB

    May 26, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #37

    manxpie

    The question was not whether the slate should be wiped clean.
    It was whether we should be pro or anti Ashley.
    It was a loaded question.

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  • magscar

    May 26, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #38

    Lilo

    On Burni’s point I was simply trying to say that the Blog will change because the subject of Ashley ( whatever anyone’s views of him) will take a back seat as there are more positive topics to discuss for hopefully a long time to come. This is a very different feeling and reality to McClaren’s appointment last summer.

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  • jimmysmith

    May 26, 2016 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #39

    Well I guess if you can sell Cisse for somewhere near 6 and buy McCormack for about 12, then sell him for near 10 once his goals have helped us back up, and then buy a genuine EPL centre forward for around twenty, it makes some sort of sense in a roundabout way. Probably more of a Championship banker than Cisse I suppose.

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