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Newcastle Closing In On Surprise Center-Back Signing

RMC Sport are reporting that Newcastle have agreed personal terms with 19-year-old Sikou Niakate of Valenciennes.

Get French Football News (GFFN) have a report out that the player and his agents are now worried that a transfer won’t be agreed in time to see the deal go through by the 5;00pm deadline tomorrow.

Sikou Niakate plays for Valenciennes as a center-back,  in the French second division, and he only turned 19 last month and has played for the France U19 side.

Niakate was part of the French squad at the European U19 Championships this summer in Finland.

19-year-old Sikou Niakate of Valenciennes.

He is valued at only €3M by his club and Newcastle are trying to push a deal through – and we wouldn’t have thought €3M was too much to pay for what looks like a very good young player.

Here are the tweets from GFFN today:

Niakate made 24 appearances for Valenciennes FC last season, and he made his debut in the 1-0 defeat to Nîmes Olympique on 31st July last year, when he had only just turned 18.

RMC Sport are reporting the deal is close, and it only takes Newcastle to agree to the €3M fee for the move to go ahead.

But if we know Newcastle they will be trying to get him for €2M – but hey – time is of the essence.

We hope this deal goes through – it will be good to get some good young players into the squad.

One question is whether the 6ft 1ins tall youngster would be part of the first team squad next season – we doubt it – but it depends on him.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Update – just when we were getting excited about this deal the Chronicle is now reporting that deals for Niakate and Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter will not happen.

We knew the Artur deal was false because we already have four good central midfielders but we were hoping we could get 19-year-old Niakate through the door.

Oh well – win some – lose some.


30 comments so far

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 8, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #1

    Ed A-R-G-H !!!!!!!!!!!

    Please, please no more headlines with ”closing in ” or ”close to”. This one has already been shot down.

    I really liked this from earlier

    C/P from Stuart Clark? to Toontalk via fb:-

    Well Mr. Ashley, you reap what you sow.

    1: You inherited a lot of debt when you purchased the club. Had you done you due diligence before buying you would have known this and negotiated a better price. Your incompetence!

    2: You wanted the club to produce “their own” from the Academy. Well give them the facilities that will aid this development not stifle development funding.

    3: The most valuable resource you have is the people who work for you. Are you proud of your record of how you deal with your staff at Sports Direct and Newcastle United? Your crass treatment of Jonas Gutiérrez stands out as being one of the worst examples of staff management I have ever witnessed. Not sure the staff at Sports Direct are over-enamored with your working practices either.

    4: Employing sycophants and yes men does you no credit. The true leaders at the club are those that challenge you and dare to question your actions (or lack of). We have a Manager and Captain that are striving for greater things and challenging you, a team that is playing for the badge and that scares you. Why is that?

    5: Your name is synonymous with bad practice. It is no longer a ”Newcastle United thing”, talk to any supporter of any club and they all squirm at the mention of your name.

    6: Kevin Keegan’s legal action, Sports Direct working practices, Commons Select Committee investigation, and recent motion by a local MP do you see a pattern emerging. Is there a common denominator in all this?

    Take a bow Mike – you must be very proud!!!!!

  • Jib

    Aug 8, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #2
  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 8, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #3

    Mr Rahman doing at bit of sowing.


  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 8, 2018 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #4

    You know my thoughts on multiple posters, they’re a scourge on the blog. Do you honestly think it needs a false identity to show you up for the tw@t you are?

  • RUNAWAY777

    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #5

    Pmsl we my not be able to complete the transfer in time you could not make this up ed.

  • BeeGuy

    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #6

    Looks like Charnley is working the turf he knows best – shopping 2nd tier football for the NUFC under-21’s squad. Or maybe those are the only players that will talk to NUFC.

  • beefman13

    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #7

    Dubravka, lascalles, Shelvey, Rondon, that for me is a strong core of a team, The South Korean lad is technically very good, Moto imo is better than we sold, Kenedy should come on from last season, Jacob Murphy started training extra early to get himself ready, if we get another couple in, imo we are far better off than last season, been lots of doom n gloom going around, we are not that bad believe me, plenty of pluses for the fans this season to come, i personally think we will be better and more consistent this season, a few moans of course but it wouldn’t be the same without them would it.

  • martoon

    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Chancel – I’ve just joined your league.

  • toon kk

    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #9

    I’ll be pleased when the transfer window is shut. It has gone exactly how I expected. We all know how the club is run.
    MA supply’s budget football at a affordable price that everyone is happy to pay and watch.

    Survival will be our achievement this season it’s the way Ash likes it.

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #10


    Thanks joined your blog league.

  • Beattie

    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #11

    What a load of old cobblers from the Jailhouse gob.
    One of my favourite bloggers was Ian Toon. He always gave Jail a good biff, bosh bashing.
    This highlights Jail’s blatant untruths as he’s had more multi’s than anyone I know. I am an infrequent reader at best these days.

    Ian Toon
    Sep 5, 2016 at 11:50 AM
    Comment #21
    Jail – I have explained this to you before:
    Ed – Could not find a causal link between any two parties posting. The term is frequently used between a drug and a death.

    You were no1 on the charge sheet for Sack Llambias because of your constant heralding last summer of the return of Quentin Crisp from holiday. You did have form over Raj but because you had confessed you were treated leniently.

    This is a joke please can the usual suspects not write in as I start work in a short while.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Chancel can you repost the link, when is the deadline?

  • c-dog

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #13

    I think we all now know Rafa won’t be here this time next year after another shambolic transfer window. although we hold onto hope that somebody will bid seriously for the club.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #14

    if the window ends like this it’s a 6/10 for improving the squad. it’s a 1/10 for spend, but if ashley pays 75m off debt and sells club i’ll say the spend is 10/10. most our signings have been real bargains and are worth more. kenedy worth 25m, rondon worth 13m, muto worth 10m, shcar worth 8m, dubravaka worth 15m, ki worth 5m. 76m worth of new players roughly. none of the players out ever played so in terms of our team we’ve lost nothing, apart from merino who is worth 14m and gayle 11m. so the actual difference to our playing squad is 50m of improvements. imagine we’d spent every available penny? there’d be another 75m to add to the squad. we could be top 6 material.

  • c-dog

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #15

    And a 1/10 for showing Rafa we have any real ambition.

    Rafa is not gonna wanna wheel and deal in the loan market year after year. Constantly having to coach his ways to an ever changing squad. He’s not building here, he’s surviving.

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #16

    Fingers crossed we bring in a CB and striker and (in dreams) a 10 before tomorrow at 5.

    Back in the real word, I do expect one more deal but probably not one of the rumours doing the rounds unless it’s for Niakate who couldn’t be more of an Ashley buy as he’s:

    – cheap
    – French
    – promising youngster with potential sell-on value
    – from a lower league and unproven in the prem

    As Ashley might say between bouts of puking into the fireplace, “He’s worth a punt, sign him up baldy and bring me a vodka chaser I need to rinse me mouth out.”

    Disappointing Maolida and Fernandez slpping off the radar but there’s no way Ashley’s offering 10-15M for a single player unless he’s someone rated at 20M+ in this market.

    Well sit and wait for (hopefully) good news. What I dread is another Joselu / Slimani type deal though a dodgy pnt on Ings would not be a bad idea right now injury worries n all we could use another option at striker.

  • toonincheek

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #17

    I reckon the squad is a little stronger than last season.

    The problem will be – motivation. Last season, the squad
    were working towards a belief that a season of consolidation
    and they could then kick on under Rafa to something better.

    This year – no such hope, so motivation will be Rafa’s biggest

  • toon kk

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #18

    It hasn’t been a disastrous transfer window, it could and should have been much better.
    The main impact with Rafa as far as transfers go’s he may not have been given the money and not necessarily the players he wanted but at least he’s prevented the fat man from cashing in on all our best player’s.

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #19

    @The next Mike Williamson

    Here’s Chancel’s info for you to join.

    Chancel My MBembaship

    Aug 8, 2018 at 12:41 PM
    Comment #8

    I’ve set up an Ed Harrison League on the Fantasy Football site if anyone wants to join in.


    The deadline for getting your team set up and joining the league is tomorrow night.


    That’s the code to join if anyone is interested. I’ll post this one last time tomorrow as well to give people a chance to see it.

  • c-dog

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #20

    If you think rafas gonna sign after this you’re mad. The whole point of this window was to back the manager. Ashley has not.

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #22


    Everyone knows Rafa’s gone in the Spring unless Ashley sells up… All we can hope is that there’s some bored billionaire out there with dreams of owning a prem team and winning some silverware. Otherwise Rafa’s walking and the only question is who Ashley replaces Rafa with. Going to be a yes man because if Rafa couldn’t sway Ashley nobody will but there’s many a yes man willing to be a prem mgr. for the paycheck and the chance to overperform and have a platform to move on to a more ambitious club.

  • cyprus

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #23

    Not sure I agree that last year’s players will be less motivated.

    It’s like them saying “yippee, we did alright, now we’ll be replaced by better players so that the team kicks on!”

    I rather think they’ll want to prove themselves as established PL players who’ve matured a year. With the additions we’re easily better than last year. All the positions which needed improving have been filled. Hope they do well.

    Rafa himself may be less motivated. But he’s a pro, his professional ethic will keep him going.

  • oldarse

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #24

    Even the rag & bone man wouldn’t give him a balloon for the tat he sells.
    only way to get him sorted is to organise all footy forums in the country to boycott his tat stalls, hit him in the pocket. He is hated across the land it will work once the press guys get wind his ares will go

  • c-dog

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #25

    Great article OA. Sums up how toxic Ashley has made the place. The hope the Rafa appointment gave us all is well and truly gone.

    May as well enjoy this one last season with our great manager

  • Nostradamus the Geordie

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #26

    Newcastle United are closing in on signing Tom Hardy for the new Christmas movie, A black and white Christmas story, Tom will play the lead role of Ebenezer Ashley Scrooge, while Javier Bardem will play Rafa in the role of Bob Cratchit who only want the best for his son Tiny Tim, Tiny Tim will be played by Newcastle United FC. News just in, January 2019 Newcastle United will be making another Toon Army Transfer Movie, Javier Bardem has agreed to play Rafa Benitez again in the Toon Army remake of A Few Good Men. I love Toon Army productions they seem to be making some great movies this year. May 2019, I have heard rumbles that they may release a true classic, Death of a Salesman sorry wrong title, Death of a Football Club. Oh, Mike if only you would see that playing the villain isn’t cool and playing a great leader that back’s his Army is far more appealing to the viewer.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Aug 8, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #27

    To be honest the fans are pushing rafa out the door by supporting ashley who will not be bothered it yous keep turning up week in and week out 50,000 he laughing at yous all the to the bank and back did not think groegies where so sad looks like we lost our pride along the way.

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 8, 2018 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #28

    @Cyprus & @Toonincheek

    I fear we may run into a squad problem and motivation will be a part of it but not for lack of it as opposed to how it is is channeled.

    Since the squad now fully realizes Ashley wont back Rafa’s ambition and Rafa will leave if the club isn’t sold; they may begin to channel their ambition away from Rafa’s vision and try to shine as individuals (to attract the attention of other clubs) as opposed to into fulfilling their role under Rafa’s gameplan. When key members of the squad become more focused on getting out of the club than playing their part that can quickly infect the squad and become ruinous. Just think of the likes of Moussa Sissoko.

    It can make it impossible for Rafa and Lascelles to “hold” the dressing room and can lead to top players refusing to do what it takes for the club to succeed if the role demanded of them in any way diminishes their individual prospects. If the likes of Kenedy, Rondon and Shelvey go from playing as part of a cohesive unit to playing selfish the team prospects are done for… you see it every year in teams that are relegated and I’ve played secondary school ice hockey (but that’s high enough a level) to see what happens when the coach and captain lose the locker room and players begin to play selfish. The locker room becomes poisonous, players try to do too much on their own… they may show their talent but the team under-performs and can fall apart.

    That’s the real danger, not lack of ambition, but selfish play and Rafa losing the locker room. He’s a great mgr, the best we’ve had since Sir Bobby, but can he hold a locker room where nobody expects him to be there next season?

  • oldarse

    Aug 8, 2018 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #29

    Sidfishes 6h ago
    Guardian Pick to above artical

    I was lucky enough to live on or around Tyneside for nearly 20 years. I taught at Newcastle College at the main site in Rye Hill and the John Marley School/Centre in Benwell for quite a lot of that time and when not travelling across the A69 and down the M6 to watch Everton, I occasionally watched the magnificent side Keegan built in the 90s lift the city’s inhabitants. Just before that era, fellow Huytoner (and fellow pie worrier) Micky Quinn was knocking them in for fun for them. I’ve a lot of affection for the club and area.

    It’s a cliché, but nevertheless true, there is nowhere I’ve ever been to quite like Newcastle on a match-day. As I’d sit, pissing my life away, in one of the many excellent dens of iniquity, usually on or around the Ouseburn Valley, the atmosphere flowed around me at times, like a warm comforting blanket of hope, solidarity and a hefty dollop of gallows humour (Gallowgate humour?). It is something I still miss.

    As an outsider looking in, I was privileged to witness how the near success of a football team and the swashbuckling way they played the game seemed to lift a whole city. During the period of the ‘entertainers’ it seemed to my febrile imagination that the average Geordie grew a few inches taller with pride during that era. I left the area for the Northumberland hills three days after ‘Sir Bobby’ died in 2009 and still have very close friends who are season ticket holders. (Or more accurately ‘were’ season ticket holders– a couple of them have jacked-in for this season, picking their future games, worn down by ‘mendacity and lack of interest’ from the owner)

    This is why it affects me to witness the seeming complete lack of responsibility and care from Mr Ashley. For me, an unashamed romantic with perhaps a false sense of how important football is to a city and its inhabitants, Ashley’s period of ownership has been almost criminal in its neglect. I absolutely empathise with the Newcastle Central Labour MP Chi Onwurah who argues that Ashley has been ‘exploiting their club, their fans and their local community’ for far too long.

    For those who gloat about this, and there will be quite a few, there always is; consider how the present piss take of ‘fit and proper’ test might one day apply to some carpet bagger who buys a controlling share of your club and uses your hopes and dreams as a vehicle to further their own agenda and give nary a hoot about your ambition for a successful football club. There is absolutely nothing in place to stop this happening.

    I wish them well in the coming months, but if the very excellent, proud and fiercely loyal Benitez finally runs out of patience, and I think Mr Ashley might just push him too far, as it’s what he specialises in – there may be a long hard season in front of them.

    No club ‘deserves’ success or failure, nor to be a natural inhabitant of the top flight in English football – but a season without a trip to the Newcastle away game always feels a bit bereft to me.

    I hope they get a solid mid table finish – but I fear more dark days may be heading for ‘The Toon’

    My guess is anywhere between 10th and 14th with Benitez – almost certain relegation and a panic replacement without the effervescent Spaniard.


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