Newcastle seem to be having a little bit of trouble getting some of our transfer targets through the door early in the summer, but of course there’s still plenty of time and the transfer market doesn’t open for business officially until July 1st although deals can be agreed now.
But there was news yesterday on two fronts that were disappointing to Geordie fans.
First of all striker target Tammy Abraham of Chelsea was interviewed and he seemed to be a long way from committing to either Brighton or Newcastle for a season loan and in fact he seemed to be waiting for other offers coming in later this summer.
26 year-old Tom Cairney of Fulham
Tammy is off with the England U21 side to play in the European Championship in Poland and will not be doing any negotiating on his future until the tournament ends at the end of June.
The surprise comments made by Tammy Abraham seemed to suggest he is nowhere near signing on loan for either Newcastle United or Brighton & Hove Albion:
“I’m not sure what I’m doing next season – if I’m coming back, going elsewhere on loan or staying at Chelsea,” said the England Under-21 international. “I haven’t decided yet.
“You have to stay open and things may come at different times, but I have to dream big and that’s what I’m going to be doing.”
The other bad news came from Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who said he has every confidence that he can hold onto his star player, 26 year-old Tom Cairney this summer, so he can help Fulham in their promotion drive for next season.
The Serbian manager also said Newcastle had bid £20M for the Scottish international in January, but that the Craven Cottage club had turned down the offer:
“Benitez asked for him and they offered £20M in January, but we did not let him go,” “He is not for Newcastle, there is no business there.” “He fits in at Fulham.”
“When the team has problems, the ball always goes to him and he keeps it.”
We are said to be close to signing Eibar center-back Florian Lejeune.
But another of our major targets – Nicolas Pepe from French club Angers SCO – who had an excellent second half of the season and made the Ivory Coast squad for the African Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon in January may be moving to Lille this week.
We were said to have bid for the player back in January, so it will be a bit of a surprise if he ends up at Lille with reports saying Newcastle are still interested in signing the 22 year-old Ivory Coast International winger.
And we missed out on 23 year-old Sporting Lisbon center-back Ruben Semedo who at almost the last minute decided to sign for Spanish club Villareal.
So Newcastle haven’t had much luck yet, but there are still 20 days to go before pre-season starts on July 3rd and Rafa would like most of the eight players he wants to sign this summer through the door by then.
That’s going to be a challenge for Rafa and Managing Director Lee Charnley.