Newcastle United have lowered their sights on striker targets according to reports this morning.
Transfers can’t officially go through until July but there have already been a fair number of deals confirmed. Around £100m has already been committed by Premier League clubs with Arsenal and Manchester City heading the spending, whilst in the Championship and below there has also been a number of lower profile transfers agreed.
At Newcastle United the biggest priority agreed by most fans is to increase the goal threat, with much speculation surrounding Fulham’s Ross McCormack (an unused sub as France beat Scotland last night) in recent days/weeks.
However, yesterday brought the revelation that his contract release price is actually £15m, which for a striker who turns 30 in August and has never set foot in the Premier League, is a canny sum no matter how many goals he has scored in the Championship in recent seasons.
So Sunday morning has brought claims that Newcastle are looking at two alternative strike targets, with one surely being a joke.
The Chronicle state that Victor Anichebe has been talked about by the Newcastle management as a possibility, this is the Victor Anichebe who has only scored 24 league goals in his entire 11 season career and only six for West Brom in three seasons, with none in 2015/16.
Yes he has had injury problems (much of them thanks to Kevin Nolan…) but 28 year old Anichebe is surely not any kind of answer to what Newcastle need, even if he is now a free agent and could possibly be just used from the bench.
The other forward said to be under consideration is a little more credible, Patrick Bamford turns 23 in September and is reportedly available on loan and/or as a permanent signing.
Bamford has previously shown he is more than capable of scoring in the lower divisions, with 25 goals in 63 Championship appearances (Middlesbrough and Derby) and 18 goals in 37 games in League One for MK Dons.
So no reason on the surface at least why he couldn’t do the same at Newcastle though longer term, a permanent deal would maybe be a little less doubtful for Newcastle to consider, with Bamford failing to shine at both Crystal Palace and Norwich last season in the Premier League.
Struggling to even get a game, Patrick Bamford only made two Premier League starts and 11 from the bench in the season just ended, scoring no goals. He possibly has the look of yet another young player who needs to get a permanent move away from the likes of Chelsea to try and establish a proper career elsewhere, rather than go out on further loans.
We always knew finding decent goalscorers would be a challenge and indeed Newcastle have basically still failed to properly replace Demba Ba who left three and a half years ago.
I have a feeling that when Newcastle do sign a striker or two, it will be a rabbit or two out of Rafa’s sleeve rather than many of those long-term recycled names and/or imaginary targets.
With 62 days to go until the season kicks off and only three weeks until the players start heading back for pre-season training, we await with interest.