Newcastle United Managing Director Lee Charnley, has stated that Besiktas could sign Aleksandar Mitrovic, with the draw of Champions League football tempting the player to move to Turkey.
Talking to Turkish media outlet Fotomac, Charnley says ‘we are talking about an excellent player who is only 22 years old’ but that it would be ‘tough for him (Mitrovic) to refuse’.
This is surprising news for a few reasons but the main one is Lee Charnley actually speaking to anyone in public, if these quotes are indeed true.
It would be a little strange even in this mad media era for a media outlet to completely fabricate some quotes.
Local north east newspapers have said in recent days that Newcastle would sell Mitrovic but Mike Ashley would only allow he and other unwanted players to go IF the club gets back all/most of the money Newcastle spent on them. With Mitro costing around £14m and being one of the top wage earners at the club, that would be a sizeable sum for a club like Besiktas, even if they do have Champions League football/cash next season.
In the past, Alan Pardew would happily make clear Newcastle were willing to sell any star player, usually giving quotes along the lines of ‘There is no way we want to sell ******** but just like any club, every player has his price blah blah blah’.
Difficult to see Rafa Benitez willing to be the club’s stooge so maybe Lee Charnley has been forced out of hiding to do the public selling job instead.
Earlier this week other Turkish media reported that talks had already taken place between the striker’s agent and Besiktas officials, with Fotospor sayng that the Turkish champions were now going to move the transfer along with club officials travelling to Tyneside to discuss a transfer with Newcastle United.
The Besiktas club officials said to be travelling to Newcastle for talks were (Director of Football) Ali Naibi and Umut Guner.
The Fotospor report said that the initial talks had been helped by the fact that the Besiktas officials have a close relationship with Nenad Jestrovic.
Jestrovic played in Turkey before ending his playing days and now acts as Mitrovic’ agent.
Lee Charnley speaking to Fotomac:
“We are talking about an excellent player who is only 22 years old.
“But we are talking about a team that will be playing Champions League football next season.
“It would be tough for him to refuse but we will see what happens.”
If there is substance to the Mitrovic reports, then a loan or permanent deal may rest largely on what Newcastle will be holding out for in terms of a transfer fee.
A permanent deal would surely be far preferable, as the loan deals this past season for the likes of Emmanuel Riviere and Siem de Jong, have seen their stock/value fall even further after struggling to get regular first team football for PSV and Osasuna.
Besiktas have just won the league title and so do go straight into the group stages of Champions League football, whilst previous reports claimed that Fenerbahce had also registered an interest in the Newcastle striker.
Maybe the most likely exit plan for the former Anderlecht forward will be a loan deal with a permanent transfer clause based on appearances.
The ability to move players such as Mitrovic on, could play a major part in Rafa Benitez’ ability to stretch his transfer budget far enough to bring in the quality of players needed for the Premier League this coming season.
With only 11 starts last season in the Championship it is quite clear that Aleksandar Mitrovic doesn’t have a future at Newcastle in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez, so hopefully a deal can be struck with Besiktas or whoever, that will suit all parties.