An interesting but very unlikely story on Saturday morning for Newcastle United.
Headlines suggesting United are preparing to bid for a £15m ‘wonderkid’.
The player in question is 6ft 3 tall Reece Oxford who plays at centre-back and also defensive midfield.
The story goes that the player isn’t happy to have made only three Premier League starts last season and has turned down a new £12,000 a week contract.
Reece Oxford only turned 17 in December though and surely must have been pleased to made 12 first team appearances so young, including making his Premier League debut at the Emirates at the age of 16, part of a West Ham team who beat Arsenal 2-0.
Manchester United are claimed to have offered West Ham a package totalling £15m if the player hits certain milestones but The Sun report that Newcastle have now registered their interest.
The player still has two years left on his current contract so West Ham are under no pressure to sell Reece Oxford, plus you would have to ask yourself why such a promising player would look at a permanent transfer to a Championship club, especially when the Hammers have made such progress and are moving into the Olympic Stadium.
The Sun suggest that Newcastle are offering regular football and that could tempt the player.
However, it would be difficult to imagine Rafa Benitez guaranteeing a 17 year old a first team place, even if it was in a loan deal – and if it was a loan deal then the only way West Ham would let the player do that is if he was guaranteed first team football!
Whilst Rafa Benitez has said he is looking to build this season’s defence based on players under 25 years of age, the reality is that players such as 21 year old Chancel Mbemba and 22 year old Jamaal Lascelles are the type of players the Manager will be relying on. Though of course it will be interesting to see exactly what kind of age and profile the players will have, who Rafa actually signs.