Against some pretty tough competition, yesterday’s ‘news’ that PSG had tried to buy Aleksandar Mitrovic was an all-time low.
The story was written by a certain Graeme Bailey, infamous as someone who is close to Graeme Carr & Mike Ashley.
A journalist who has regularly written articles/’news stories’ that try to portray the disastrous transfer policy of recent years at Newcastle as some kind of a success, despite it leading to a second relegation within seven years.
This is what Graeme Bailey wrote in his ‘exclusive’ for The Gambling Times (quite an apt vehicle to carry the story considering the way Mike Ashley has gambled with the club’s fortunes since buying NUFC):
‘Newcastle United turned down an approach from French giants Paris Saint Germain for Aleksandar Mitrovic in January, TheGamblingTimes.com’s Football Insider Graeme Bailey has learned.
The 22-year-old is very highly regarded on the continent and he scored 9 Premier League goals last season following his £13million move from Anderlecht.
He has been in-and-out of the side this season and has started just seven league games but Newcastle’s hierarchy remain convinced that he will come good.
A number of clubs have been keeping close tabs on Mitrovic but we can reveal PSG made an approach and were willing to pay £15million for him but Newcastle said no.
A source confirmed told us: “An enquiry was brought to Newcastle but they didn’t entertain it, they rate him highly.”
Our Football Insider Graeme Bailey revealed: “Many clubs in Europe still think Mitrovic is a huge talent and Newcastle clearly do too.
“He had the likes of Atletico Madrid and Porto after him when he joined Newcastle, and that is no fluke. Newcastle clearly want to see him in the Premier League again and barring a huge blow-up, he will get that chance next season.”
Graeme Bailey talks of Mitrovic having been ‘in and out of the side this season’, hmmm. By the time the transfer window had shut, the Serbian international had started in only four of Newcastle’s 27 Championship matches, a little more out than in, the last of those having been back on 26 November 2016 when NUFC lost to Blackburn.
We all want Mitrovic to succeed but surely in these past 19 months we now realise his limitations.
He can do a job in the Championship almost certainly but I doubt if there are many Newcastle fans who still feel he will be doing any kind of a significant job for Rafa Benitez in the Premier League next season, if we are promoted. The club surely would need to buy a player who was also a class above Dwight Gayle and who could play with or instead of the former Palace forward, as United would look to ensure against a relegation fight.
Does anybody honestly believe that if Rafa Benitez/Newcastle United had been offered a profit on Mitrovic in January and get the club’s biggest earner off the wage bill, they wouldn’t have snapped PSG’s hand off? With Rafa then able to use that money on a player he really wants and would be first choice, whether Andros Townsend or whoever.
PSG paid out over 70m euros in January for the likes of Draxler and Guedes, to go with others such as Di Maria and Cavani who both cost over 60m euros each.
I would have been shocked if PSG had shown any interest in any of Newcastle’s (relatively) quality players, never mind Mitrovic.
The likes of Darlow, Clark, Shelvey and Gayle are clearly a cut above most of the rest of Newcastle’s squad but wouldn’t get close to interesting a club such as PSG who are shopping for Champions League players.
Perez for Barcelona and Lascelles to Chelsea have been two classics of recent times but the Mitrovic to PSG tops the two of them in terms of ‘surely nobody honestly believes this?’.
Maybe Mitrovic could one day justify the massive fee and wages that Newcastle threw at a 20 year old who arrived from a weak foreign league and who was expected to instantly score the goals to keep NUFC in the Premier League.
However, that signing summed up the daft nature of Newcastle’s transfer policy pre-Rafa Benitez and it tells you all you need to know that Graeme Bailey has had the gall in other articles to call into question Rafa’s signings in comparison to the shambles that went before him at St James Park.
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