We are hoping that PL Champions Leicester City can keep their squad together for next season, but as usual in England the top clubs look around each summer and identify the good players they think should be playing for them rather than at the smaller clubs.
One such player who has been identified this summer is Jamie Vardy, who scored a tremendous 24 goals in 36 Premier League games for Leicester City last season and is now scoring goals for England, including the equalizer in England’s good 2-1 win over Wales on Thursday.
Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez during Spurs home game
Arsenal have come in for Jamie and activated the release clause of £20M in Vardy’s contract, but it doesn’t say that Vardy has to accept Arsenal’s offer.
Leicester have countered according to reports and offered him around the same as Arsenal have offered him in wages – and now the Premier League Champions seem confident they can keep him at The Foxes.
We are hoping Newcastle can keep the squad together in the Championship – as much as possible.
That response by Leicester to an approach from another club for one of their best players is one way Newcastle could keep the likes of Andros Townsend on Tyneside.
That’s in the event a club comes in and activates his release clause, said to be anywhere between £8M and £13M.
In fact it looks like Rafa Benitez has already met with Andros and told him the club are willing to raise his wages – before any club even officially comes in for the 24 year-old England International winger.
Of course the two cases are not identical, because Vardy gets group play in the Champions League even if he stays at Leicester for next season and Townsend will be one step below in the Championship.
Townsend is a special case at Newcastle, because other top players like Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko – as far as we know – don’t have release clauses in their contracts.
So Rafa simply puts a huge fee on their heads – said to be £20M for Moussa and £30M for Gini – and as long as we can replace them and a club comes in and meets those valuations – Newcastle will sell.
It’s not going to be easy as a second division club to sign top players this summer, so we have to try to keep as many of the good players we already have at the club for hopefully the one season we will spend in England’s second division.
That’s unless players like Moussa continue to be pains – and then it’s best to simply get rid of them.