Over the summer, Newcastle were linked with a few South American wonderkids. One was Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri, who ended up joining Manchester United in October. The other was Alan Velasco, an Argentine who plays for Independiente.
Newcastle have once again been linked with the 18-year-old. Sport Witness is citing a report from Argentine outlet El Instransigente that Newcastle are still keeping tabs on Velasco. The other clubs credited are Serie A’s Parma and Mexico’s Club America.
The issue with Velasco is he has a very high release clause. When he was initially linked over the summer, the Saudi takeover was still in play. However, the takeover is in limbo with Mike Ashley currently engaged in a legal dispute with the Premier League.
Velasco’s release clause is around £17m, which is well beyond Newcastle’s means under Ashley. Though the report claims that Independiente are in severe financial straights and could allow the promising youngster to leave to the club with the best offer. Which will probably not be Newcastle under their current ownership.
There was some developments yesterday in the Middle East that could be positive for the takeover. Saudi Arabia opened its airspace and borders to Qatar. Today both nations are due to sign an agreement to pave the way for re-engagement.
While that doesn’t impact the Premier League’s stance that the Saudi PIF is part of the Saudi state, it could alleviate the concerns of piracy of Premier League matches in Saudi Arabia. That would be one less obstacle to this takeover actually coming to fruition.