There are now only 14 days to go to the new year and what’s important about that is the transfer window opens and Newcastle can then start to bring in some new players to strengthen the side and help with our promotion drive – the only thing that really matters this season.
From our count and list of the players we have been linked with this season there are about 15 players we are supposed to be interested in – and the chances are the players we do bring in have never been mentioned yet.
There was news late last week in L’Equipe that Newcastle were after 21 year-old Angers winger Nicolas Pepe, who has one full cap for the Ivory Coast.
Nicolas Pepe – Newcastle target?
Rafa did hint last week that with Rolando Aarons out for the season with his serious ACL knee injury we may need to bring in a winger, so here’s a possibility, but we know very little about this player.
Nicholas was born in France of Ivory Coast parents and he has elected to play for the Ivory Coast and won his first cap last month in a 0-0 friendly game against France.
L’Equipe report that Lyon are the favorites to sign him, but that a number of other clubs have also been watching him and maybe will bid for him in January.
Nicolas Pepe is under contract until June 2019 and L’Equipe report his club want around €10M initially for him and then maybe more based on how well he does if he signs for Newcastle.
Other clubs said to be interested in the 21 year-old include Juventus, Lille, Lyon, Monaco and Roma and they have all had scouts watching him recently.
Pepe joined Angers in 2013 from Poitiers FC and has made 17 appearances with 2 goals and one assist for his club this season.
He can play on either wing but has only played 25 times in total for his club with 2 goals and one assist, after making his debut two years ago in November 2014 against Ajaccio.
He would be a risk if we signed him since our track record with players brought in from France is not particularly good.
But it all depends if Rafa really wants him and has seen something in him that can be brought out with his expert coaching.
There’s not long to go now before January and we’d love to see say three good players signed by Rafa and it’s very unlikely any first team player will leave the club next month.
The goal is to strengthen the squad in January and then again in the summer and we should have plenty of money to spend to do that.