Newcastle missed out on Dujuan Richards after the teenage striker signed for Chelsea late last week. The Phoenix All Stars Academy product had impressed during a two-week trial with Newcastle, who did make an offer to sign him permanently.
However, Chelsea beat Newcastle to the youngster’s signature with what is being described as a better offer with a clearer path to the first team. The Chronicle has published the following from Phoenix All Stars Academy president Craig Butler:
“It wasn’t a sudden switch, whenever you manage a player it is important that you look at all available options and choose the best possible offer.
“Newcastle really did a great job and made a big effort to get him and we appreciate everything that they have done. Newcastle presented a very good offer and so did Genk and Ajax. But for us, Chelsea presented the best one.
“Chelsea were not just better from a financial perspective but also in terms of his football pathway and the plan for the player. He will be in the first team and that is very important to me.
“If he is to go out on loan, I will be integral in the decision as to where he goes. But Chelsea are looking to put him in their first team and they have provided a plan, and that plan really fits ‘Whisper’ going forward.”
Richards had spoken to the Chronicle last week expressing his belief that he had impressed during his trial. His head was likely turned by the Blues with a better financial package. The clearer path to the first team rings a little hollow.
Newcastle are still hunting for talent. The Sun is reporting Fleetwood Town’s Stephen McMullan is now firmly in the Magpies’ sights. The report claims Newcastle have already met with the 18-year-old goalkeeper’s entourage.
McMullan hasn’t made his debut for Fleetwood though he is a Northern Ireland U19 international. He put pen to paper on a long-term contract to 2024 in January of this year. He had joined from Northern Ireland’s Warrenpoint last summer.