I woke up this morning and after making a cup of tea, lay in bed as usual checking to see what was happening in the world of Newcastle United.
Headline story on The Mag was L’Equipe reporting/claiming that Newcastle had made a bid of close to £20m for Alexandre Lacazette.
Anybody would think that there was a seasom ticket deadline fast approaching…
What’s that you say, there is? Well fancy that.
You can’t blame L’Equipe for running the story and some of it may even be true.
A lot of people though seem to think that just because it is foreign media, they are any more likely to be right than our own useless cynical press.
To be fair, over recent years the Frenchies have been a little bit more on the ball, though it has helped that Newcastle have bought most of their players from there!
In this case though, I’m a lot more inclined to believe the reports saying that we are buying this 25 year old defensive midfielder Henri Saivet for around £3m, rather than £20m or more on Lacazette.
Even in the L’Equipe report, they said that the Newcastle representaives made a verbal offer and I can quite believe that they may have done so, but that is a world away from any deal being done and as they say, a verbal contract is only worth the paper that it is written on…
Lacazette like all decent French players is desperate to play for France in the Euros they are hosting this summer, so the idea of him having the upheaval, especially to a club deep in relegation trouble in a foreign league…sounds a little unlikely.
Already I have seen comments from Newcastle fans claiming that any United offer for Lacazette, has simply been done to make it look like the club mean business in this January (season ticket deadline) window.
Maybe tomorrow it will be £150m for Ronaldo or £200m for Messi?
The majority of Newcastle season ticket holders are on the recurring direct debit scheme and if they/you don’t want to go next season, you have to inform the club before the end of January. Otherwise the club say that you are then committed to paying for next season, no matter which player are/aren’t bought, or indeed what division Newcastle are in.
If Mike Ashley can get through this month without many more packing in their season tickets for next season, then he would be probably be guaranteed crowds of at least 40,000 (season tickets holders plus big away followings, plus cheap ticket offers, plus even cheaper half season tickets pre-Xmas) in the next campaign, whether it is another relegation struggle or we have finally tipped over into the Championship after the close calls of 2012/13 and 2014/15…plus of course the last ‘successful’ attempt by Mike Ashley in 2008/09.
Whilst the dangers of relegation are all too real this time, I just don’t see any significant investment in the squad this month.
Like every other Premier League club, I don’t doubt Newcastle will spend money in the summer if they are still remain in the top division. After all, it would be suicidal not to when every club is getting around £50m extra every year from next season and will be spending accordingly, to try and keep their snouts in the Premier League trough.
However, I don’t think Mike Ashley is as convinced as the fans that Newcastle are in big trouble, believing the team is far better than it really is and fed sycophantic reassuring noises from Penfold, McClaren and Carr that the signings will come good etc etc.
Can you honestly see Ashley agreeing to spend £20m now on a striker when he has already seen £28m worth of summer buys (Mitrovic and Thauvin) sitting regularly on the bench?
I reckon we might see some cut price Ligue 1 player we’ve never heard of such as this Saivet form Bordeaux arriving, plus maybe some kid from the English lower divisions like another Ivan Toney. Wth the small off-chance of a loan deal for somebody like Andros Townsend, Loic Remy or similar, deals with the potential of maybe eventually buying them but an opt out clause if Newcastle are relegated.
We are already into the fifth day of the transfer window, only another 26 shopping days to go….and only 25 to your season ticket deadline!
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