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Does Steve Nickson Already Have Targets Lined Up And Ready?

North-East correspondent Keith Downie has asserted that he has a feeling Newcastle have some transfer deals already lined up and waiting.

This is what Keith has written for Sky Sports:

The scouting team and Steve Nixon, the head of recruitment, have been working away in the background and my feeling is there are probably a couple of deals already lined up from when Rafa was still in charge.

It will be imperative that Newcastle act quickly on transfers whenever the next manager is announced, whether it is Steve Bruce or not.

Every other club have signed at least one player, with Aston Villa ready to announce their eighth signing of the summer in Manchester City’s Douglas Luiz.

Newcastle are woefully behind and as we saw in the announced squad for the preseason tour, reinforcements are needed in many key areas.

Steve Nickson– targets identified and waiting?

We hope that targets have already been identified, as Keith believes, and at least some contact has been made.

Keith Downie seems to think they do have deals lined up from when Rafa was in charge.

While it doesn’t seem to matter who the manager is at Newcastle in terms of who the club identifies as their targets, it will matter to the targets themselves.

We can’t help but feel it is going to be very hard for Newcastle to attract many quality players this summer without Rafa at the helm.

While we do believe the new manager will have money to spend, the combination of Charnley’s plodding approach and the chaos of this summer could hinder the club’s ability to get transfers over the line.

124 comments so far

  • posada

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #41

    We have been taken over by Villa.
    They had a proper willing seller at a reasonable sum.
    The new buyers were left with money to spend.

    Ashley on the other hand only wants to sell for a very dear price.

  • Lovem or Hatem

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #42

    Maybe something will come from BZG in the future like Amanda Staveley did. She showed that Ashley can be a crap person to do business with.

  • oldarse

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #43

    Maybe best if BZG don’t buy then we get the pleasure and praise of nailing the FCB to the mast. oh yes we can

  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #44

    The EPL finally accepted that the Oystons weren’t fit and proper people to run a football club at Blackpool so why Ashlie . He’s ten times worse and on a much bigger scale and stage.
    Justice was finally served after many years at Blackpool so why not at NUFC??
    Answers please EPL, Premier League, Football Association or whoever.

  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #45

    Posada Why would he want to sell when the Magician Rafa worked the oracle for him and lined his pockets on a shoestring. His problem is will Steve Bruce do the same? NAH – not a black cat in hell’s chance!

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #46

    I’m not sure neglect covers it Posada, I think it’s deliberate. Steve Bruce has been out of the PL for years. Whatever experience he had came before teams started playing it out from the back as the norm.
    Von Bronckhurst would be a better fit, he beat much richer teams, can manage on a shoestring and plays decent football. In Holland granted, but good is good.
    Maybe he will hire Flores now, so we all think ‘thank god it isn’t Bruce’?
    Appears to me Ashley knows exactly what he’s doing. This is his revenge.

  • Muz

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #47

    Keith Downie is a total cnut. He had the audacity to say that fans were picking on him, Peter Graves and Mark Douglas but they were just doing their job. Well, their job is apparently to just report what the club tells them to report. Not a single investigative bone in their bodies. He dismissed BZG’s statement Monday so no surprise he’s once again attacking them in his tweets and articles today. Prize bell.

    He doesn’t have the first clue what Sheikh Khaled is personally worth so why is he making statements to the effect that they can’t afford us? He is the first man to ‘break’ news the club wants breaking and he wonders why the fans are giving him stick.

    Fact is, BZG entered into talks with Ashley in good faith. They clearly felt confident that the club would be sold to them since they spent money engaging solicitors, forming companies, performing due dilligence. The insinuation that they’ve got the money to do all of that but not close the deal is insulting. There’s only one person to blame if the deal is off and that’s the fat tw@t who owns us. Downie’s propaganda to try and spin us in a positive light and besmirch the reputations of others would make even Joseph Goebbels ashamed.

    I can only hope, or pray, that SWFC tell Charnley that there’s no flexibility to the compensation they want. Put Ashley in a position where he has to either sell or re-employ Pardew. Do not be surprised if Peter Graves runs into Pardew on a train in the next day or so…

  • onmeedsun

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #48

    It never costs Ashley when we’re relegated. Just means the club has to make good the shortfall when it’s promoted, hence no money is ever spent. We’re just in the clear now after 2 seasons, hence cash now available. If we go down we just get to repeat this cycle. If we don’t come back up it just takes longer. And then we die! He has enough wealth to never have to sell, ever! He will never sell at a low point, from lower leagues, as would lose out, and doesn’t need the cash. Will only sell when in PL. So our best chance of getting rid of him is to stay in PL, which means we have to support the team etc. But we’ve been doing that under Rafa and still no sale. So we become zombies who are stuck in this cycle. But if we want to feel better that we are doing something that could expedite his departure, we support the boycott en masse for selected games so he can see we are organised, have power and can damage his brand on TV. We support the team when no boycott to keep them up, and make Ashley’s life as difficult as possible, within the law of course. This may push the next deal over the line. And we continue to stick pins in dolls and hope the next chopper that falls out of the sky has him in it!

  • lesh

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #49

    Two points

    The way I’d understood the BZG-Liverpool link was that BZG had made an enquiry whether Fenway’d consider selling and Fenway’s response was £2Bn. BZG thanked Fenway and that was that.

    As far as the veracity of Downie’s story goes, it was he that’s staged, pre-agreed scripted interviews with Ashley – every last penny etc.

    The whole thing stinks of Ashley demanding more and more despite his and BZG’s negotiating teams agreeing terms – Ashley moving the goal posts via Barnes.

  • one fine day

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #50

    We can only hope Bruce has turned us down ..maybe he has spoken to shearer .
    Funny ghetto more times managers turn us down people will ask or google go know just who is the arsehole who owns that team in England who no one wants to work for ?
    I just hope some of the searching leads them here
    #mike Ashley
    #worst owner in world football mike Ashley
    # biggest helmet to ever grace the earth mike Ashley
    #boycott arsenal
    # boycott sports direct
    # Rafa out all out

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #51

    IMHO the boycott of televised games is to send Ashley the message that this is what we’re capable of. It also pisses off sky, who give him the money to invest in the club that he doesn’t invest. Boycotting spokesmen need to tell sky, ask him where the money goes?
    He’s had over a billion quid. Our sales/incoming is at virtually zero, so Where’s the money gone? Not on players, they’ve paid for themselves, not on the training facilties or the ground – except where the rich people sit – so where has it gone?

  • Billy Whitehursts V sign

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #52

    BENNY 10

    Jul 12, 2019 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #3

    We are witnessing the end of sports journalism. Don’t believe a word until it comes in quotations

    The most sensible thing said on here in quite a while.

    One of the reporters (cant remembet who) was on the other day about double sourcing everything. Nonsense! There has hardly been a proper quote from anyone all summer, as per usual.

    Supporters are fighting and agitating each other based on perception, guesswork, opinion, inference………..

    Some of it such as helicopter watch was fun for a while but the slagging off of each other is nuts.

    Only facts are

    Rafa has left
    Perez sold l
    Loanees returned

    It’s a shambles and we have a 4 week countdown. Tick tock

    It’s not sport if your not trying

  • oldarse

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #53

    as I said previously stop the proper gander from KBA hack them easy done.

  • Tramp

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #54

    Something glorious is about to happen!

  • oldarse

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #55

    Tramp have you dropped a magic mushroom

  • Lindisfarne

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #56

    HA! HA! HA!
    HA! HA! HA!
    HA! HA! HA!
    HA! HA! HA!
    HA! HA! HA!

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #57

    One of the biggest unsubstantiated rumours is that Ashley keeps moving the goalposts.

    Strange how not one of the so called buyers has claimed that.

    You all keep forgetting that Staveley and Kenyon didn’t personally have the money to buy us and were trying to cobble a deal together among investors.

    And guess what…. if they pulled the deal off they would have got a few million as their cut for putting the deal together.

    BUT… no goalposts were ever moved because the investors NEVER came up with the money.

    No wonder Staveley especially was pi$$ed off and blamed Ashley..

  • tooned in

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #58

    Nickson ‘Crouchy, how about playing at Newcastle under Steve Bruce?’

    Crochy… ‘oh I’ve officially retired ‘ ?

  • Tramp

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #59

    Sorry, Bloc Party just released a live album of Silent Alarm. I was rocking out to Positive Tension when that lyric opened me up and touched my soul.

    “Something glorious is about to happen!”

    Maybe… Maybe it is?

  • oldarse

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #60

    Bills Son Is Back Because maybe the advertising is the addon and he’s asking stupid money mate doesn’t take a great brain to work out that one or does it?

  • lesh

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #61


    Good to see you’ve decided to support any boycott. For all you have taken that decision reluctantly and have reservations about its impact, fans should realise that going back next game if the crowd’s 40000 or so, is playing into Ashley’s hands.

    As you know, STs are included in attendance figures whether a seat’s used or not. The sign of success or otherwise is the number of empty seats. Using one match as a marker isn’t the best measure – what we need is those empty seats encouraging others to join, increasing the number of visibly empty seats and therefore the visual impact game by game.

    Bobby, you’re making an admirable sacrifice – stay with it and help rid the club of Ashley who’ll stop at nothing to satisfy his greed.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #62

    The sports, pages were the last bastion of news left. The news reported in MSM has been propaganda rubbish for years. Six companies own every MSM outlet in the world when you trace it back. You hear what they want you to believe. I’m not here to argue that point, you believe what makes you happy.
    My point is journalism in general is dead. All they do is report what they’re told to report. Investigative journalism is,m now only in the hands of a small group of independent journalists. Many who are murdered for their efforts.
    So now the name ‘reporter’ takes over. They don’t investigate, they report.
    And that, basically, is why nobody knows wtf is going on. They’ve moved to Sports probably from normal journalism and just carried on reporting the news. They’re not even reporters, more like repeaters. They repeat whatever they’re told. Expecting any journalist involved with MSM to investigate is a hope too far.

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #63

    Timeline of Bruce coming to be manager of NUFC:

    Alex Bruce follows NUFC on Twitter
    Someone / some people back Bruce at the bookies to be the next manager
    Odds start to shorten
    Other punters start to follow the odds by putting more money
    Odds shorten further
    Reporters start to say NUFC are interested in signing Bruce
    Steve Bruce issues a statement saying it’s all news to him
    Reporters make up whatever they like, feeding on each other’s nonsense
    Fans start to lose their sh!t
    Odds continue to shorten until Bruce is odds-on favourite to be our next manager
    Steve Bruce goes back to work at Sheffield Wednesday as scheduled as expected
    Everyone starts to look at each other and wonder where this collective hallucination and delusion came from.

    Nothing else can be confirmed to have happened, no other conversations are known to have taken place. All that has essentially happened is Alex Bruce following NUFC on Twitter, the rest appears to have been mass hysteria.

  • #boycott Arsenal

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #64

    If he really wanted to sell he would have given in to Rafa’s demands and had a world class manager as a selling point and he could have been shot of us within a year. If he really wanted to sell what difference would it have made to him if the proposed 61M+sales went on 25+ year olds with not much sell on value. If he really wanted to sell it wouldn’t matter at all if Rondon was worthless in three years time. He doesn’t want to and isn’t going to sell while we’re in the PL. What he’s doing doesn’t make any sense and makes you believe what Bobby says that it is being driven by pure spite.

  • Nostradamus " Mike Ashley The Clown "

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #65

    All this takeover bullshit, this has been submitted, then this has been submitted, then this has been submitted.

    Why is proof of funds last on the list, it’s ass backwards, shouldn’t proof of funds be the first thing?

    If and yes BIG if, MA wants to sell then moving forward, business man of the year, why not get proof of funds first and not waste all this time.

    Simple really, don’t do anything else, let that be the first thing anyone has to prove.

  • Lovem or Hatem

    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #66


    Stavely was pissed off because she made three bids which must have been suggested as acceptable by Ashley and then he turned them down.

    Remember Ashley is to blame for all of this. He just uses other parties to deflect the blame from him.

  • Muz

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #67

    Bills son – Stavely has never said anything publicly regarding the takeover she tried to head up. It was Ashley and his cronies that came out calling her a tyre kicker. The fact she’s said nothing and chosen to keep a dignified silence says more about her character than compared to Ashley.

    Kenyon never officially pulled out but short of a letter he released to the public that practically fellated our owner I have no reason to believe that his takeover was anything but a ploy to cover up their lack of investment. Weirdly, I don’t believe Ashley has ever called Kenyon a tyre kicker like he did Stavely.

    BZG are a multinational group owned by very rich Arabs who are part of the ruling family of the UAE. The group has fingers in pies all over the world in construction, finance and energy. They have made it clear publicly they want to buy our club, they have shown the money to buy the club (since you had to show funds to get in the door with Ashley), and have even gone so far as to set up a share transfer vehicle because they desired to buy us and felt confident they would. They still might.

    But as it stands, if the takeover is dead, there’s only one man to blame. And I’m fairly certain his removal of the charges had more to do with him trying to transfer the rights to IP and merchandising to his other businesses than readying the club; a purchaser of the club would have effectively bought the debt and the charge in place.

    So yeah, blame everyone else bar the fat man.

  • Ron Knee

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #68

    Gianfranco Shola@youmeandnufc

    Be prepared to hear the phrase

    “I think he can still do it at this level”

    Fun times people, fun times.

    Man I miss Rafa


  • lesh

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #69

    Bills Son Is Back

    Get a grip or stop being such a twerp.

    Potential buyers such as BZG won’t publicly state that Ashley’s increased his demands after the negotiating teams have thought they’d come to an agreement. BZG is by all accounts a reputable international company which seems to have conducted itself with dignity. It’s effectively suggested everything’s been there to be signed off by Ashley who’s played silly buggers. Don’t ask for chapter and verse – you won’t get it – it’s a case of reading messages into statements and by the looks of your comments, you might benefit from some tuition to help you understand.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #70

    Lesh, the problem this season is I bought my ST in March mate. He’s had my money. My ticket will be counted whether I’m there or not. I’m boycotting televised games in solidarity with those who gave given up. It’s all I can do this season.
    However, when I go to other games I will be pushing the boycott agenda to people around me. Many of whom may not have been aware it was happening. They’ll know about the next one though, because I’ll tell them – as many as I can. We need agitators in the ground and I’m happy to be one.

  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #71

    Does Steve Bruce really want to be The Black Cat in Hell because he will never be accepted by the Toon Army. Nah. More FAKE NEWS

  • Oldgit1

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #72

    The journalists esp the ones who work for the chronicle are a total disgrace, their reputation is in free fall. Lee Ryder needs to resign and employ someone that has a backbone. Don’t give me the crap that they double check things, they should get off their arses and do what any up and coming journalist do, look for an exclusive, sit outside St James. Get some inside information, it shouldn’t be that hard. Stop going on twitter and backing your fellow journalists or so called friends, saying it’s not your fault. You are rubbish at it.

    Forget getting any quotes from Ashley and Co, you ain’t getting any. For the last three years Rafa has been the mouth piece.

    Charnley, I think, has only made one statement and that was to say that the Training ground was fit for purpose and said we hadn’t any signings turn a move to us down because of the training facilities not being upto scratch.

    All supporters knew this was rubbish yet local journalists did not question it. Why are they scared to report the truth, are they scared of upsetting Ashley and get banned from the press room, I would have far more respect if the so called journalists said how it’s is and would increase the papers readers and respect.

    If the chronicle reports something, think of the opposite which maybe closer to the truth. Also this applies to Ashley.

  • wynsleap

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #73

    onefineday @21
    You seem to have forgotten that it was Sir John Hall who was instrumental in giving us the stadium we have today.
    He also gave us Keegan and his Entertainers.
    What ONE THING has Ashley ever done for this club? Sweet FA.
    I started watching The Toon when Ivor Allchurch was playing. Now I’m ready to jack it all in with Bruce’s appointment and the impending (no doubt) announcement that the (mythical) take over deal is off.
    Sick to the back teeth of this greedy, manipulative, lying ar*****e.

  • Ron Knee

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #74

    Do supporters barrack Charnley when he’s present at matches?

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #75

    Ashley wants to deflect blame from himself and onto buyers. His lackeys in the press are complicit in this. Pushing the BZG are tyre tickers line on here is effectively helping Ashley in his PR efforts. There is no evidence for this, yet we know that he has pulled this one before. There is only one man to blame for this and we all know who that is. Anger should be directed in that direction, not to buyers and certainly not to fellow NUFC fans.
    BZG have released one (2?) official statements and another statement through DJSmiley. There has been a heads of terms agreed. These are very real, believable things. DJSmiley was attacked by the Ashley press lackeys as a liar, and when it was shown that doing such things would have grave consequences for DJSmiley, they then went on to basically call BZG liars, when they themselves had no idea what was happening in the deal, and their only source of information came from Ashley’s camp (proven to be liars who deliberately mislead the press).
    My guess is that negotiations had reached a head, BZG had gone as far as they could in giving in to Ashleys demands. There last statement basically saying take it or leave it. They are not going to insult Ashley as they want him to sign off. As with Stavely, I believe there is an offer on the table and Ashley wants more and is pushing to get his deal. IMO we are at a standoff position. My best hope is that the whole 2 weeks to sign off and the Bruce fiasco is Ashley playing games to push BZG to sign off on the deal he wants. This is the best positive spin I can put on the situation. If we sign a crap manager, the it certainly looks like game over for the takeover.
    The best thing we can do, is organise against Ashley NOW. His love is SD and the best place to hurt/persuade him in the direction of selling. Attacking each other on here is playing into Ashley’s hands. We may have differing views as to what went on during the ‘sale’, but fighting amongst ourselves is what Ashley wants. Let him know now, how we can make his life more difficult, while there is still a buyer at the table. These actions we are all proposing are to get him to sell, we need a buyer for that to happen and we have one now. It may be close season for our club, but SD season is in full flow.

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #76

    I have a question: Does putting things in your basket actually stop others from purchasing that stock or does that only happen when payment is made?

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #77

    Bills son

    Even utter cretins deserve one day off. Treat yourself (and us)

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #78

    Lovem or Hatem,/oldarse – Stavely was pissed off because she made three bids which must have been suggested as acceptable by Ashley and then he turned them down.

    A guy made four bids recently for a motorhome I had for sale and I turned them all down – and sold it for the price I wanted.

    If what you are saying is true that “she made three bids which must have been suggested as acceptable by Ashley” do you not think she would have shouting from the high heavens that he had “moved the goalposts” three times??

    Of course she would, but she didn’t.

    Why, because Ashley never suggested one of the low ball bids would be accepted.

    Again, I’m not saying this because I want Ashley at the club, just that commonsense tells you this is far closer to the truth than the ‘”he keeps moving the goal posts” opinion continually stated on here.

    There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support that.

  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #79

    Why is it neither party is willing to issue a truthful statement? Are they fearful of anarchy on Tyneside.?
    Can’t fans get the truth for once,please?

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 12, 2019 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #80


    I reckon it takes a cretin to know one.

    And no, I won’t take a day off.

    You go and take one… you can have one of my lieu days.


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