Newcastle United released a ‘transfer update’ last week after failing to strengthen during the January window. The statement provided a detailed explanation of Joe Willock’s signing while also proclaiming ‘internal parties’ knew the club had little money to spend.
It has been suggested that part of the update was a message to Steve Bruce, who was reportedly upset the club refused to bring Hamza Choudhury in on loan from Leicester City on deadline day.
The ‘update’ served as little more than an attempt to justify an underwhelming window in which Newcastle were the only club not to strengthen from the back end of the previous campaign.
It did little to provide any hope for Newcastle fans that this January will be much different. While a lot will depend on where Newcastle sit in the league by the end of the year, it appears that there is going to be little money available in the winter window.
Newcastle do have both domestic loan slots available so if desperation arises, that is the likely route the club will take. However, we’ll still see links with big-money moves from time to time.
Football League World has kicked things off with an exclusive that Newcastle are monitoring Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge as a potential target in January. The Norwegian international is an interesting player who certainly would be a good addition to the Newcastle midfield.
The 23-year-old was a surprise addition when signing from Belgium’s Genk for over £20m in January of 2020. A severe hamstring injury curtailed his progress last season limiting him to just 16 appearances.
With Sheffield now relegated, Berge was linked with moves over the summer. Both Liverpool and Arsenal were credited with interest. Newcastle’s name even popped up briefly. While he does have a relegation release clause, his price tag is still more than Newcastle could ‘afford’ this past summer.
So unless a change of heart happens at the top at Newcastle, Berge seems an unrealistic target as he’ll cost a significant fee. There’s little chance Sheffield would agree to a loan with a purchase option as the midfielder is still tied down until 2024.
The Blades have started life back in The Championship in dreadful fashion with just 2 points in their first five fixtures. Berge has started all five matches but contracted Covid 19 last week keeping him out of Norway’s World Cup qualifiers.
It seems unlikely at the moment that Newcastle will pursue Berge this winter considering this past transfer window. The more likely route will be another push to land Choudhury on loan and possibly another defender if we are well down the table come January. Such is life as a Newcastle fan.