Newcastle have been linked with an interest in Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, but there have been no moves yet by Newcastle.
But promoted sides Wolves and Fulham are interested in the player and are not put off by the price tag of £11M that City will want if their 21-year-old left-sided midfielder leaves the club.
We suspect Newcastle will not pay out £11M for the Manchester City attacking midfielder and that’s why we’ll not hear much more about Zinchenko – other than paper-talk.
Fulham have already broken Newcastle’s transfer record this summer with their acquisition of Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri for between £25M and £35M (probably closer to £25M).
Mike Ashley with Lee Charnley
Our paltry record still stands at the £17M we paid Real Madrid for Michael Owen back in 2005 – when iPhones were two years from being introduced by Steve Jobs.
You will never be able to call Newcastle big spenders with Mike Ashley owning the club.
And surely we have more money to spend than is being reported – where do Wolves and Fulham get their money from?
So even Fulham (and Wolves) are showing more ambition and willingness to spend money than Newcastle this summer.
Newcastle were outspent last summer by promotion clubs Brighton and Huddersfield.
We have spent approximately a negative £6M so far this summer after bringing in Kenedy on loan, Sung-yueng as a free agent and we paid out £4M for goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
And we were paid the release clause of £10M for Mikel Merino.
And with Isaac Hayden now wanting to leave, Brighton may be willing to pay £10M to take him to the south coast where he would prefer to be closer to his girlfriend and their baby daughter.
With Mitrovic likely to be sold for close to £20M to Fulham and maybe Matt Ritchie on his way to Stoke for £15M – it looks like we will spend very little net money in this transfer window.
When will Ashley allow Rafa to spend some big money?
The longer this goes on with Rafa’s hands tied behind his back, the nearer Rafa could be to leaving Newcastle.
If this is a test of Newcastle by Rafa Benitez this summer – the club is not doing well – we are failing badly.
There are 25 days left in this transfer window for Rafa to bring in another four outstanding players and things may be OK for next season.