The Birmingham Mail have revealed today that Aston Villa’s manager Roberto Di Matteo was not happy at all when Ciaran Clark was poached away by Newcastle in the summer, after we met the release clause of £5.1M in his contract.
Once a club meets the release clause amount they can talk to the player and it turns out Ciaran was only too willing to move to Newcastle and even today he said it was an easy decision to leave Aston Villa in the summer.
Ciaran Clark in action for Newcastle
We did a similar thing with Mohamed Diame to get him from Hull City when the Senegal International was willing to drop down a league to join a huge club managed by world-class manager Rafa Benitez.
And you have to believe clubs find out about these release clauses from the players’ agents, who are always very keen to work out ways they can make money off their clients.
And why did Ciaran want to move so quickly to Newcastle?
You guessed it – Rafa had a talk with him and he had no hesitation in wanting to come to Tyneside.
Rafa’s ability to persuade players to join him at clubs is almost legendary, so if we can get promoted this season – and it’s still an “if” – watch out for another exciting transfer window next summer.
And in fact Ciaran has started to show off his best form recently and he’s made two solid appearances in his last two games he has played for Newcastle, so Rafa’s expert coaching looks to be paying off.
Ciaran looks at home at either center-back or left-back.
It’s not surprising that Roberto Di Matteo was “enraged” at losing one of his best players for what these days is chicken-feed for such an experienced player like Clark.
We’ve been impressed with Clark both on the field and also with his attitude – which is simply first class – and in four appearances he has one goal and one assist.
He’s another excellent acquisition Rafa has made for Newcastle in the summer.
And of course we play Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday.