Mike Ashley’s hope of a quick resolution in his bid to sell Newcastle United was dealt a death blow on Monday as arbitration has been delayed until early 2022 due to issues with the disclosure of evidence.
In all likelihood, Mike Ashley and Newcastle United are stuck with each other for at least another season – another taxing and lost season.
Whether this latest disappointment will spark a rethink in Ashley’s plans for this upcoming campaign remains uncertain. Though he may feel inclined to back Steve Bruce a bit more with transfers as he can’t wipe his hands clean of the club until at least next year.
Bruce reportedly has just £10m in the coffers to improve this squad. He recently revealed work is being done on up to three targets, one of which is Arsenal’s Joe Willock. This morning the Gunners have had to cancel their trip to Orlando for the Florida Cup due to positive Covid tests.
After Newcastle’s friendly at York City on Sunday, Bruce expressed concern with his midfield stating ‘we are very, very short.’ So the middle of the park appears to be the focus right now in terms of additions.
Newcastle are in discussions over loans for Willock as well as Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher. On Monday, French journalist Loic Tanzi claimed we were tracking Midtjylland’s Jens Cajuste.
French club Rennes has had to cool their interest in the 21-year-old after two failed bids, the latest one a reported £10m. Tanzi reported that Brentford and Newcastle had entered the fray for the young Swedish international.
That claim has been backed up by Swedish outlet Expressen. They are reporting that Newcastle have held discussion with Cajuste’s representatives as well as his club over a move.
However, Newcastle are just one of four Premier League clubs to have held talks along with Leeds, Wolverhampton, and Crystal Palace. Brentford wasn’t mentioned in this latest report.
The defensive midfielder was not in Midtjylland’s squad for their Champions League qualifying match at Celtic yesterday. Though he did return late for pre-season training due to his involvement in the European Championships with Sweden which could be the reason.
Midtjylland want £11.8m (140m krona) for Cajuste according to the Swedish report. Though The Chronicle reports that his price tag is £13m. At the moment, even the lower amount exceeds Bruce’s budget but wouldn’t rule out a loan with an option to buy. Bruce could also receive a minor bump with Florian Lejeune’s pending sale.
However, with up to four other EPL clubs on his trail, Newcastle are going to have a very difficult time landing the midfielder without more backing from Mike Ashley.