Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is once again the name said to be in the frame for Newcastle United.
The 25 year old striker has been repeatedly linked to a move to St. James’ Park and indeed it was claimed that Newcastle made an offer for the forward before he left St. Etienne for Borussia Dortmund.
Now the Northern Echo say that they understand that Graham Carr has recommended Aubameyang as United’s top priority in the summer, with Papiss Cisse’s future uncertain with only a year left on his contract and no other players at the club likely to score goals on a regular basis.
For Newcastle to have any chance of landing the striker then it would look certain that Mike Ashley would have to smash any previous transfer fee he has paid out.
Both Cisse and Cabella were brought in for around £10m but the Newcastle owner would likely have to top the £16m club record paid for Michael Owen.
After scoring freely for St. Etienne, Aubameyang cost Dortmund £11m and while the German club have struggled this season, the striker has been one of the real positives, scoring 15 goals in 27 starts which includes 3 goals in the Champions League.
Taking last season into account as well, Aubameyang has notched 31 goals in 54 starts. In today’s transfer market you must surely be looking at closer to £20m rather than the £10m maximum that Ashley has paid out so far.
With the TV riches smashing new records with each deal, the folly of trying to fill the goals gap with budget strikers such as Emmanuel Riviere has been shown all too obviously this season.
Will Mike Ashley really smash both the transfer record and strict wage bill to try and guarantee the goals for survival, or even that dirty word, progression/ambition?
Or will we see yet another massive gamble with the club’s short and longer term future with gambles on untried players at a higher level?