With the transfer window officially open and Newcastle looking to complete some early business, there’s been no shortage of players linked recently. That’s generally the rule rather than the exception this time of year.
Newcastle had been monitoring the contract situation of Leeds attacker Tyler Roberts. The 22-year-old was entering the final year of his contract but seemed to be hedging on signing a new long-term deal.
Leeds announced yesterday that the Wales international has put pen to paper on a new three-year contract which rules him out of a move to Newcastle. Roberts was an interesting if not unlikely target for Newcastle.
Newcastle’s interest in Roberts stemmed from his contract running down and the potential of a bargain buy. With that possibility now out the window, he’ll be crossed off the lengthy list of targets.
The player who Newcastle have been linked with most is Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer. Up until late last week, Newcastle were seemingly in the driver’s seat for the 23-year-old. However, it came to light that his representatives were shopping him around for the best possible deal.
Ajer, himself, admitted while on international duty that a move this summer would be best for both him and Celtic with his contract expiring next summer. It had been consistently reported that the Norwegian was very keen on not only the Premier League but specifically Newcastle United.
Football Insider has published the following claim from former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell about what he’s heard on Ajer’s link to Newcastle:
“That is going to happen.
“The lure of Newcastle, who are a big club, is going to be a bit too strong I think. Ajer, like the majority of players out there, wants to play in the Premier League. It is a big draw.
“I am pretty sure that one is going to happen. From what I hear from people in the game, he has made his intentions quite clear.”
Like with Roberts, Newcastle’s pursuit of Ajer this summer comes down to his contract situation. Celtic value the center-back at much more than the £6-8m Newcastle are hoping to sign him for.
However, Ajer has made it clear that his future lies elsewhere so Celtic’s hands are basically tied. His representatives are exploring what other options could be out there. It appears that both Bayer Leverkusen and Norwich City have expressed interest.
The pull of the Premier League may ultimately rule out Leverkusen. Newcastle will hopefully be a more enticing proposition than Norwich if we end up making a move for the defender.