Newcastle United are looking for an experienced goalkeeper, a quality centre-back, plus a proven goalscorer at the top level.

Obviously there are other positions that need strengthening but adding goals is an obvious one, whilst if we believe absolutely anything of the past two months media coverage, a quality central defender and experienced keeper definitely appear to be two positions where Rafa Benitez is looking for players.

Bournemouth are making headlines at the minute, as they are set to complete the £20m signing of Nathan Ake.

Not sure how true it is, not very in my opinion, but some newspapers claim Newcastle were one of the other clubs competing for the Chelsea player.

Already a Dutch international, the 22 year old centre-back looks a very good player, and it is a bit of a wake-up call for other Premier League clubs and especially Newcastle, ‘little’ Bournemouth paying £20m for a player.

Not that I necessarily think he would be the right signing for NUFC, but I did laugh when Newcastle were linked with Kieran Gibbs earlier in the transfer window, and Toon fans joined in with local journalists scoffing at the idea that Newcastle could/should consider paying £15m for a defender.

It shouldn’t be money no object but these prices are the new reality, you don’t have to spend that on every player you buy, but it will be really strange and disconcerting if some of Newcastle’s signings this summer aren’t in that £15m+ bracket.

Going back to Bournemouth, they have also earlier this month agreed to buy experienced Premier League goalkeeper Asmir Begovic for £10m.

Turning 30 just over a week ago, Begovic has played almost 200 Premier League matches for Stoke and Chelsea over the course of the past seven years and looks a very good signing, like Nathan Ake.

Newcastle have been strongly linked with both Willy Caballero (turns 36 in September) and Pepe Reina (turns 35 in August), both experienced at the top level as well, but Newcastle said to be struggling to land either veteran keeper.

As for up front, Bournemouth are also set to formally unveil Jermain Defoe as another summer signing.

Scoring 15 of Sunderland’s measly 29 Premier League goals last season, a remarkable achievement in a truly useless team.

Defoe is 34 but appears to have looked after himself and still has goals to offer, Newcastle were also linked with him.

However, when news emerged of Bournemouth having to commit to some £20m over the next three years to cover signing on fees and wages, it does look an incredible amount of money…until you factor in just how difficult it looks to bring in quality players this summer.

Bournemouth had no transfer fee to pay and probably think that even if Jermain Defoe can give them 20 PL goals over the course of the next two seasons and help ensure they don’t get into relegation problems, he will have proved good value.

When you think Newcastle bought the truly useless Emmanuel Riviere for £6m at 2014 prices and gave him a ridiculously long six year contract, he will probably end up costing Newcastle a figure similar to that £20m cost for Defoe. In return Riviere has so far delivered one Premier League goal and that was a total fluke, somehow kicking the ball with one foot and it hitting off the other, completely bamboozling the QPR keeper back in 2015.

Should Newcastle be signing, or at least competing for, the likes of Ake, Begovic and Defoe?

Or maybe the question should be, will Newcastle be bringing in players who are of that quality or better than the Bournemouth trio?

The reality is that Bournemouth are one of the clubs Newcastle fans will most definitely hoping/expecting to be above next season.

If NUFC can’t/won’t compete with a club of their level in the transfer market then it does raise a lot of questions for both the transfer window and the season ahead.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Toonrobbybobson

    Well thought out article but I will reserve my judgement until the transfer window slams shut. This is the ultimate acid test. Its doesnt look great yet but factor in when we made signings last season and it was early July. Also This season we seem to have confederations etc. People may say well we had the Euros last year but we were competing for a different level of player for the Championship. We have to face the inconvenience of owners, managers, agents, players being on holiday. Until they start returning for preseason it will be difficult to deal.

  • blip

    Bournemouth are now an established Premier League side with 3 years of TV money behind them. They know that they’re looking to invest in a few quality additions, but we’re after anywhere from 6-12 players who can do a job at PL level. If we spent £30m on Ake and a GK, we wouldn’t have much left for the rest of our targets (including, allegedly, 2 strikers).

    On top of that, older, cheaper goalies are what we should be looking at, since it seems we’re just after a quick fix until Woodman is ready. Which will hopefully not take the 6-8 years that Begovic could conceivably play at the top level for.

    (All of that said, I rate Ake and I’d be surprised if he didn’t have other offers)

  • Alex

    NUFC may not get so much reward money this year, but it is absolutely guaranteed for next year.

    There’d be no risk in Ashley bridging that finance himself, or bridge it from the bank. Either way, that money WILL roll in at the end of this coming season.

    The choice is to bridge it for ONE season to get Premier League standard players in who can hit the runway running, or, to scrape around for Liverpool reserves and mid-table Spanish defenders, in the hope of getting through to next May.

    The stark facts are that, if he reverts to type and chooses the latter, we will be up a particular creek with not much of a paddle.

    • Rich Lawson

      Bang on Alex,Defoe’s transfer is now in doubt cos they can’t meet his wage demands with west brom’ now being touted as his destination.I assume Ake is not going to take a drop in his Chelsea wage packet to move,so with Bournemouth’s limited revenue £20mil and and prob’ making him their highest wage earner looks a big ask ? I agree he must have better offers on the table and with respect to Bournemouth it’s hard to see them not being in a relegation battle at some point next season.

      • ray

        are you for real & do you believe what you read in the star etc? defoe’s signed a 3 yr deal for afcb btw & of all the games coming up, i really want us to beat you home & away now.

        • Rich Lawson

          Yes,I’m not a computer generated irritant Ray and you will note I did address my comments with respect to your club.I’m delighted for you to have signed Defoe,still don’t think you will be getting Ake tho’ ? I never liked The Star and have not picked up a copy in the barbers since they dropped Beau Peep.I want to beat ALL our opponents,but I wish you well in your other games.

        • Rich Lawson

          Ray you have signed Ake,I take my hat off and offer my apologies !

  • Damon Horner

    “Little Bournemouth”… “expect to be above them”.

    Can anybody work out why our reputation with other clubs fanbases is not always good?

    • Phil K

      More than double the attendance of Bournmouth perhaps ?

      • Damon Horner

        Not sure what attendance has got to do with showing a club a basic respect.

        • Phil K

          When we get it back from these clubs maybe I’ll consider it. Until then, you do what you want to – and don’t lecture others

  • HarryHype59

    “Little Bournemouth” will pick up around £110m in TV money, NUFC get the 41m parachute money. That is the financial reality of last seasons relegation. So called smaller clubs have greater buying power than this club due to TV money.

  • anyobrien

    Let’s all wet our pants even though it’s the 29th of June..

  • Down Under Mag

    I think it’s dangerous comparing our transfer dealing with any other club. Yes, it’s easy to get carried away and think we are falling behind the more we delay, however the judgement needs to be made at the end of the window. We are not even in the window yet and are in pretty much the same boat as last year at this time with only one signing. Also, I think people are neglecting how much power Rafa has in this…he doesn’t NEED to be here…he could walk into another role if he left. He also has never been shy in the past of getting into the media to make his point if he isn’t getting his own way, the fact we haven’t heard anything from him AND he is still here says to me that things must be going in the right direction behind the scenes or he would have left or at least been kicking up a fuss. Let’s all wait for a couple of weeks to se how we go once the window is open before getting carried away.

  • Dennis Tate

    What is all the hype about, southern press jumping to conclusions about Rafa ready to quit as player targets don’t materialize.
    Rafa might be disappointed naturally that his target decided elsewhere.
    As for Abraham and Defoe quoted for missed transfers to Newcastle no big deal as Abraham will find the Premiership a more difficult arena to adjust to.
    With Defoe he is no better than what we have.
    Rafa is methodical in his ways and I am sure we will build before the season kicks off.