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Rafa Involved Personally To Sign Top Striker – Bid Imminent

1:29 pm, Sunday, August 21st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 87 Comments

We had an article out earlier today on Newcastle’s interest in signing FC Utrecht French striker Sebastien Haller, but we also pointed out that while Haller is keen to play in England, it’s in the Premier League where he wants to play his football.

So it will be a challenge for Newcastle and Rafa Benitez to persuade him to join Newcastle United in the Championship this summer.

Sebastien Haller 876

22 year-old FC Utrecht French striker Sebastien Haller

Now there’s news coming from L’Equipe in France that Rafa has personally phoned the 22 year-old to explain his “exciting project” at Newcastle and to sell the second division club to the striker.

Rafa will have told the young striker how he sees him playing in the team and that Newcastle expect to be promoted to the Premier League next May.

If it’s like Rafa’s talk with Isaac Hayden he will tell him his good points, but also some areas he can improve in – and that (world-class) Rafa can help him become a much better player.

Benitez is said to rate the young French striker highly and certainly he would be an excellent acquisition for us.

The two successive wins in four days should also help to sign Haller and the three other players Rafa wants to bring in by the end of the month.

Newcastle have been negotiating with FC Utrecht and L’Equipe reports that Newcastle will be bidding for the player imminently – and it seems to be at a fairly low £6M transfer fee.

If that’s true then presumably Rafa has convinced the player to join Newcastle should a fee be agreed between Newcastle and Utrecht.

Sebastien Haller only joined Utrecht last summer from Auxerre, but he had a great first season in Holland and in 40 appearances for his Dutch club he scored 24 goals and had 6 assists.

Rafa said on Friday that we were close to a number of new players joining the club, so hopefully Sebastien is one of them.

He would be another excellent signing for the club.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

87 responses so far ↓

  • 1 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Great, rapid article output should paper over the whole Kets incident and how annoyed we are by the lack of action from Ed.

  • 2 ToonMauritius // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Oops another frenchie. If Rafa is dealing personally, then he must be very talented.

  • 3 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Repost – expatmag – that’s a disappointing response from Ed. It’s clear from the responses on the blog that we were disgusted with what he said and I think it warranted much stronger action than merely being ‘monitored’. What does the guy have to say to get banned if that awful comment wasn’t enough? I’m not impressed at all.

  • 4 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:35 PM


    Yes mate. Disappointing to say the least.

    However, I wonder how Ed would feel if my legal practitioners contacted him about this matter with a request for Ketsbaias personal information to be supplied to them in a defamation and libel matter?

    I am sure he wouldnt want it to go that far.

  • 5 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Repost – And the fact that Kets just popped up after we mentioned him is just him rubbing it in our faces that he’s still about. Poor moderation that sends out the message you can say whatever the hell you want to say and only get a slap on the wrist. Kets must be laughing his head off right now.

    Won’t hold my breath waiting to see if he posts a genuine apology to you.

  • 6 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Must be made up, if not then it’s blatantly tapping up.
    Funny how these articles come out and not only do they know that someone has phoned up, they know the content of the conversation. It’s bull

  • 7 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Ron knee

    Yes mate….the rivalry down there is historic and just watching the game as I write, the atmosphere is raucous.

  • 8 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Still 1-1 in the East Anglia derby. Could go either way this….10 mins to go

  • 9 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:42 PM


    Not expecting one mate. I dont think he quite understands his offensive behaviour.

  • 10 geordie157 // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Get in boro, great goal

  • 11 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    I’m done with this blog if no action is taken. Saying it’ll be ‘monitored’ is a total cop out and amounts to taking absolutely no action at all. Kets obviously isn’t going to apologise and will continue to post as if nothing happened. His talk of ‘going out to get some gash’ and having ‘seventeen lasses on the go’ is bad enough but yesterday should have been enough for a ban. I hope you get the resolution you were looking for expat. You’ve definitely got my support.

  • 12 Yo-yo // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    This is how Rafe recruits. He talks to player personally which is excellent man management and they feel they are wanted for his project. If this guy is any good or has the potential he’d be one for EPL when we get back there.
    Remember when we got gazumped for Remy? Slack management definitely. Rafa is in a diffferent class. Interesting ten days coming up…

  • 13 Ron Knee // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:44 PM


  • 14 geordie157 // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    I like the boro starting xi, that front four will cause teams problems.

  • 15 Toon Tang // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Gwarn Boro

  • 16 Yo-yo // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:45 PM


    What was the original post that caused the offensive response ?
    I’ve looked but can’t find it.

  • 17 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Would be impressed if we got Haller seems to be in high demand, young though but does seem to fit the bill of what we need

    Rafa wants 4 in by all accounts Galloway surely is coming soon, striker and a winger not sure on the fourth though?

  • 18 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:51 PM


    I was chatting to One Fine Day and told him I was taking my 11 year old daughter to a science expo in the morning but we would probably be late getting there.

    He made infrences of paedophelia and sexual activity by me on my daughter. I dont want yo say anymore on the matter. It has been reported but Ed seems reluctant to take action against him.

    A few other bloggers have voiced their disgust on the matter.

  • 19 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    Jordan Rhodes is meant to be available

  • 20 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Ketsvaia made inferences…..not One Fine Day

    Should have worded that better.

  • 21 Spoof // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:53 PM


    I was posting at the time that Kets made that post, and it was sick, I’m not going to defend, not by any stretch of the imagination, but we have all seen Kets post and in all honesty I do not view him as being the most intelligent in the world, but at the same time I don’t see him as being vindictive or nasty, I honestly believe that he made that post with it being intended as being humerous, which it most certainly wasn’t as it was just sick, but I doubt that he intended to cause the offence which he has, in a nutshell I doubt that he has it within himself to realise just what he has actually done.


    He was way out of line, way off the mark, but like I say I doubt it was intentional, just do as you normally do with him which is the same as I do with him, don’t bother reading his posts as he offers as much interest as watching paint dry does.

    As for a ban, it won’t happen, Ed has many good points but instilling blog discipline isn’t one of them which is why we have so many fights on this blog, at one stage a few weeks ago it got so bad that I joined in as a neutral to try and keep the peace and get us all to show a bit of respect, as a result I got accused of being a coward who was hiding hoping that I wouldn’t get picked on, what complete and utter nonsense but when I mentioned to Ed just how bad the blog was and how some use it as a battle ground all he could do was say that it has always been a problem but all he could do was ask for harmony, the thought of banning people has never entered his head, all we can do is to ignore them or take the comment to a higher orthority outside the blog, but as bad as his comment was, does it deserve that when we consider who made it, after all he doesn’t come across as being the brightest spark does he.

  • 22 Ron Knee // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    1-1. A draw is good for us, I suppose.

  • 23 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:54 PM


    They paid around 11 million pounds for him last January. I would jmagine they would want most of that back

  • 24 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:00 PM


    Not geing the brightest spark is no excuse mate. Have a look at his posts since.

    Who will be the next one?

    This is a football forum so why do we have to continually be reminded of his sexual fantasies?

    Sorry mate but he needs to be dealt with because it is obvious to me and a few others that he believes he has done nothing wrong.

    He should be banned. A lesson taught.

  • 25 tomtoon13 // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    Kets out!

  • 26 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Just watching Guingamp v Marseille

    Guingamp 1 up in the first minute. Cabella starts behind Gomis, Thauvin on the bench

  • 27 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    I am once again apologise for a comment that I made. It was just in the heat of the moment and I got a bit carried away. Yes, it was immature. I was hungover and didn’t read the previous post properly. Can I ask you all to treat me with respect.

  • 28 Shadow_Shearer // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    I wonder if this means we are not interested in bas dost anymore.

  • 29 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    Have a feeling that Boro will win today. Seriously think Sunderland will drop this season.

  • 30 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Didn’t think Kets had that in him, seemed so harmless.

  • 31 Spoof // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:15 PM


    that’s fair comment mate, but nothing will happen, it never does, how many times do we see posters making umpteen post and not one about football, Ed doesn’t do discipline which in my view handicaps the blog, there are many who should have been banned but they aren’t and I doubt that Kets will.

    I know that this is not the point but not a solitary person would think bad of you as we all know who and what he is, but is he worth the hassle, you weren’t aware of what he had said until another poster brought your attention to it, I have to admit that I wasn’t aware of it either as like yourself I see the name of Kets and I just look at the next one down.

    A couple of years ago there was an Irish fella, not Kieran, he’s decent, but he was saying that he supports Newcastle but he hates the English and wishes them harm, he doesn’t post now but that is dreadful, it’s actually racist against English people but when I complained what did Ed do, well I think you can guess, nothing will happen mate so the best thing that I think you can do is ignore him, try to forget what he said, not easy I accept that but move on rather than upset yourself if you don’t get the banning order which should be made.

  • 32 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Mackems 0 – Smoggies 2 hee hee hee!!!!!!!

  • 33 cyprus // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    Ramirez negredo not bad

  • 34 toon kk // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    Boro 2 up, they look a well organised team with pace.

  • 35 Spoof // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    2-0 Boro
    get in

  • 36 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    We could pay it easy enough

  • 37 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    An example needs to be made here. Ed is always talking about how things were done at IBM, so is this how they handled vile behavior there? Just brush it under the carpet and ignore it? Saying that Kets is too stupid to know better is a poor excuse. He knew exactly what he was saying at the time and it was just his regular act of provocation taken way too far. But of course he knew it was no big deal and that he’d get away with it. It’ll be interesting to see if we have copycats now who act up knowing there’s no punishment from the moderator.

  • 38 cyprus // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    The promoted championship teams aren’t finding it too hard in the PL. This may show the level of that league. The chasm isn’t big, at all.

  • 39 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    At least we have the SMBs losing to the Smog Monsters as a bit of relief from yesterday’s nastiness. Shame our amazing win was overshadowed in such a way. Wonder where all those mouthy Mackems have gone? And speaking of which, where the hell is gorgonzola? Posting all the time when we were losing and two wins on the trot and he vanishes. Coincidence?

  • 40 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    The Premier League is a poor league. It’s not as good as it used to be. I used to like the league when each team was only allowed to play 4 non-eu players in the line up.

  • 41 Shadow_Shearer // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Rafa knows how to use strikers with pace. Unlike p45 who kept using the small strikers as target men.

  • 42 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:31 PM


    Thanks for your advice. Taken on board.


    Quite probably but do you think he is worth it? He seemed to struggle at Boro last season. I seem to remember he couldnt score a home goal and currently, he xant even get on their bench.

    I would rather look elsewhere. Peter Crouch would be a decent 3rd striker at yhis level in the short term.

  • 43 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    And regarding Haller, as convincing and professional as Rafa is, I don’t think the player could be talked into joining our project with bigger clubs in higher leagues chasing him too. But this is football and sometimes surprising things happen. My hat will be off to Rafa if he can get this one through the door!

  • 44 toon kk // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Your right the championship in some respects about the gap. But newly promoted clubs often can do decent in the premier league down to the type of play needed in the championship to succeed which revolves around quick hard working football, catching many premier league teams by surprise.

  • 45 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:35 PM


    Stranger things have happened mate.

    Ritchie and Gayle have come down. Gamez from La Liga and we are davourites to go up with probably one of the worlds top 10 managers in charge.

  • 46 Ian Toon // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    It helps if you’re playing against the likes of Swansea and the mackems. Early days yet and the window is still open.

    As we found out teams are relegated in May.

  • 47 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:40 PM


    I think the common aspect these days is that yhe premiership is divided into 3 mini leagues with the top 6 fighting for europe, the middlec7 fighting for mediocrity and hopefully a cup run and the bottom 7 fighting for survival.

    Most promoted clubs initially fal into the bottom 7 although in recent years, the money on offer is ensuring the PL is now a more contested competition unlike the lijes of Spain Germany and France

  • 48 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    I apologise for my vulgar comment.

  • 49 toontaff2 // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    What a sweet sound – boos at the flatpack stadium of shyte – could hear them in Tynemouth!
    Next should come the fire drill and empty pink seats!

  • 50 Wandering Geordie // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    Joy to see the pond life at the bottom of the premier with Palace

  • 51 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Yeah hes certainly worth it, his time at Boro was more to do with the clubs issues than him, was bought above the managers head and he didnt want him

    He’d add a lot more than Crouch

  • 52 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    Just checked the Scum’s next league fixture and it’s Southampton away. I know the Saints aren’t doing quite as well this season, but I think they’ll do enough to at least beat the Mackems 1-0 and keep them where they belong this season. No easy six points from us to help keep them up this year. Huzzah!

  • 53 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    I suppose it is better than nothing.

  • 54 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:58 PM


    I dont yhink Rafa is intrested though. Rhodes us a poacher but he lacks pace. I dont see him getting in ahead of Gayle. Do you?

  • 55 Toon Tang // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Hahaha Palace and Mackems to drop would be bloody beautiful.

    Footy gods lets make this a reality my brothers.

  • 56 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:01 PM

    Van Aanholt is a goal threat. Good player.

  • 57 Ian Toon // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    It’s a pity that Benitez who had ten games, to win a four team league at the bottom couldn’t succeed. The other three teams Villa, Norwich and Sunderland we had to play so our fate did rest in our hands.

    Someone earlier suggested we didn’t know what Benitez was planning, thinking and proposing and that it was annoying for fans to imply otherwise. Well I have to disagree. Communication isn’t the PR exercise of old from the club, with nebulous statements from Coloccini. It’s as good as I can remember going back to the KK days. Benitez answers straight forwardly questions he’s asked and volunteers and shares problems he’s confronted with. Communication is first class.

  • 58 toon kk // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Sunderland certainly turning the screw against Boro.

  • 59 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Goodnight all

  • 60 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:20 PM

    Mate Ive no idea who Rafa is interest in its all just speculation. Rhodes vs Gayle though well before we signed Gayle Id wager Rhodes would of won that battle handsomely in peoples views

    An experiences goal scorer is nothing to scoff at though…personally Id consider replacing Perez with him

  • 61 toon kk // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Good three points for boro

  • 62 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Every time we wince at Sels in goal, let’s be thankful that we don’t have Brad Guzan in goal. Gift of a goal for the Scum.

  • 63 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    Night expat!

  • 64 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Sissoko to Inter seems to be gathering pace. Fee of £30m which is more in line with what I always expected £25-30m.

    Brady or Knockaert for £10-15m would be great. Significantly weaken a rival too.

  • 65 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Hate the Smoggies but I’m over the moon with that scoreline today. Great set of results this weekend I think. First of many fun footy weekends 🙂

  • 66 Jail for Ashley // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    I didn’t think Rhodes would join us as he has waited a long time to get a chance in the PL but if he’s definitely not in the managers plans then we could be a way out for him. Why are people assuming that every player we buy these days has to be somebodies replacement. Are their minds to entrenched in Dirk Llambias’s ‘purple’ policy. I think their is room for Rhodes in the squad.

  • 67 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    Hail – I’d take 30M in a heartbeat for him. Out of the club, off the wage bill and him being someone else’s problem. Don’t wish him any ill will at his new club, just want him gone for good.

  • 68 Jail for Ashley // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Knockeart seems like a no brainer and offering them silly money might get him in, we have had enough teams pants down in recent history to be able to pay over the odds for a player. If we pay 5M over it’s not a great deal when you look at the bigger picture.

  • 69 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    JFA – I agree, there’s room for Rhodes. He’s done the business in this league before and he can do it again. Surprised he’s available for transfer actually.

  • 70 Jail for Ashley // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    Can’t wait to see Townsend sink with Palace and see what good that has done to his football reasons. Does anyone think we would have signed Ritchie if Townsend had stayed.

  • 71 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:42 PM

    Ah u are right there is room for him but tbh I was working on the opinion that he’d be an opportunity buy rather than a fully planned one so we would bring in another (Haller for example) and him which would mean we’d have to get shot of someone

    Mitro, Gayle, Perez, Rhodes and Haller would be fine forward line though

  • 72 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    I arrogantly do think we could convince Rhodes for one more season in the basement though

  • 73 Transfer Sage // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    Personally I wouldn’t go for Jordan Rhodes. Thought highly of him at Huddersfield and Blackburn (I think that’s who it was) but watched a lot of him last season with Boro (few mates are boro fans) and he was poor. They didn’t rate him highly either.

    He wastes so many chances, especially one on ones and lacks pace. I think he’d cost a fair bit of money and if we did get promoted this season he wouldn’t score goals in the premier league.

    Just my opinion mind.

  • 74 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 21, 2016 at 3:50 PM


    Would love to get both. Brady played LB today and LW last time out. Equally good at both. Knockaert plays primarily from the RW so I believe.

    Add a ST and we’d be set.

    Sissoko – £30m

    Janmaat – £7-8m

    Krul – £5-7m

    Just those 3 sales would cover it easily.

    In reality Knockaert interest is real, but there’s been zero column inches linking us with Brady unfortunately for me, I’m a big fan and think MItro/Gayle would love his consistent high quality supply.

    Seems to be plenty of options around regarding another ST.

  • 75 Sav // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:06 PM

    Brady definitely. This Haller looks another a twisty-faced Frenchman. I know you can’t judge a player from a video but usually because it looks better than the reality. Haller’s video highlights are wogeous. The studied non-smile when he does score just makes him look like an arrogant so-and-so.

  • 76 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    Mackems already throwing in the towel after two games if the Shields Gazette comments section is anything to go by. You’d never see us doing that, would you? Oh wait…

  • 77 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    WWSBRD – you have to jump on those opportunity buys sometimes. Situations change and a player can suddenly become available. Rafa doesn’t seem to mess around when we wants someone so I’ll expect a few surprise signings that haven’t appeared in the newspapers that he’s been able to keep under wraps.

  • 78 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    *he wants (not we wants)

  • 79 toon kk // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    Pundits saying Sunderland are going to struggle again this season. Tbf I think we would have too had we survived, we were so run down, at least we can be more competitive in the championship.

  • 80 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:36 PM

    Certainly mate, I dont think we’ve been after Rhodes but if he is available we should be looking at him atleast

    Adn I hope there are a few surprises coming for us…Moses, Haller, Rhodes and Galloway haha

  • 81 bettyswallocks // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    Welshies new bird being kidnapped

  • 82 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    toon kk
    Our finances are a lot better than Sunderlands

  • 83 CSC92 // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    Just got back from a weekend in Marbella and Gouffran was at Newcastle airport in his grey Mercedes wagon.. Wonder if he was picking his French pal up…….

  • 84 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    toon kk – if we had stayed up I like to think Rafa would have done the same clear out of wasters but been able to replace them with better quality players due to having more money available and the promise of top flight football under a respected manager. I don’t think our troubles from last season would have been repeated. Not saying we’d be top four or anything but I think we’d have been top half depending on our transfer dealings.

  • 85 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Let’s start saving up our pennies to buy a banner to fly over the Stadium of Sh*te at the end of the season. What goes around comes around!

  • 86 Wandering Geordie // Aug 21, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Pardew’s on fire …fears the sack he’s petrified

  • 87 davis_toons // Aug 21, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    Sébastien Haller

    a bit of an Nicolas Anelka in him.

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