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Mike Ashley asking price of £300m is actually £400m – He needs to accept this and be willing to negotiate

5 days ago
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With two third of this Newcastle United season gone, we have asked a number of regular/irregular contributors to The Mag to answer a few questions.

Only 13 games to go and two points above the relegation zone, what do people think about where we are now?

Is Miguel Almiron the start of something better, or too little too late?

Writer Geordie 7676 is next up…

Three words to describe how you feel as a Newcastle fan at this moment in time?

Concerned, Disappointed, Bored

As things stand, are you going to go to home matches next season?

No, but that is because I live abroad due to work commitments. If I was living back in Newcastle would I be going? No.

What needs to change at NUFC for you to change your mind?

It has nothing to do with the money, nothing at all.

A lot of people say that we shouldn’t give Ashley our hard-earned money and should stay away to force him out, but the money generated from Season ticket sales is in all honesty, a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the potential revenue streams.

I wouldn’t be going purely because I can’t justify spending that kind of money to watch the boring football that we are playing at the minute. I see people blaming Rafa for the negative tactics but I truly believe that he is playing this way because he just doesn’t have the tools to do anything else.

Under a decent owner, with money given to him to go out and put together a stronger team, I think it would change dramatically – truth is, we just aren’t going to get that under the current ownership.

For Newcastle to be looking up and not just surviving, what kind of transfer activity needs to happen in the summer?

Defensively we are pretty solid at the minute, so I wouldn’t be too worried about strengthening at the back – the LB position is obviously the one spot where we need something, maybe Barreca will prove successful and become permanent. We also need a new backup GK, someone who will really push Dubravka on and keep him on his toes.

Middle of the park, again I think we have a pretty good spread right now, however, we need a strong holding midfielder to be able to really kick on. Diame has been very good this year – he doesn’t get the plaudits he really deserves. Anyone who says otherwise has either never played football themselves, or don’t understand the game well enough. His break up play is excellent, and he does a lot of the dirty work off the ball that almost always goes unnoticed, but as good as he has been, he isn’t good enough to build around long term. Longstaff looks a real good player but is he mature enough to have that responsibility yet? I’m not so sure. We will also need to bring in a replacement for Kenedy – unless he turns things round, starting now, he will be going back to Chelsea.

Up top, we should be banging down West Brom’s door to bring Rondon in permanently.

I am looking forward to seeing Almiron, I think he could be a steal at the reported price we have paid for him. We do need back up for him in that number 10 role – Muto could be the man, but the jury is still out on him at the minute.

Even with a permanent Rondon deal, we definitely need another quality striker, and someone with pace to play off him. I imagine that Gayle will go the opposite way in any future deal with West Brom, so a direct replacement for him would be essential.

Can Newcastle United ever truly be able to look forward if Mike Ashley is still here?

No – IF he ever decided to speculate, he technically has the money to really turn us into a force, but he has proven over his tenure that it is just never going to happen.

As a percentage, how confident are you that Newcastle will stay up this season?

75%. We have a big 6 games coming up (Wolves game tonight) against a set of teams that on paper are winnable. If we got 10 points from the next 6 then I would be certain we will be safe – anything less than 7 and we really are going to be up against it.

Do you think Mike Ashley was seriously trying to sell the club this time?

I think he is, I just don’t think he is allowing any room for manoeuvre in price. He clearly isn’t factoring in the money that is going to have to be invested in areas like the training ground, stadium and academy when he is coming to his £300m price, not to mention the playing squad.

Looking at what I think we need to do in the transfer market to look up instead of down, I would estimate that Rafa needs around £75m in the next window to achieve relative security next season. Any potential buyer will be looking at that, and coupled with the upgrades needed in the infrastructure, you’re looking at upwards of £100m just to lay decent foundations moving forward. Ashley’s asking price of £300m is actually £400m – he needs to accept this and be willing to negotiate if he is going to sell up.

We asked fans whether Rafa should be expected to sign a new contract after the January transfer business Mike Ashley allowed, only 12% of Newcastle supporters said yes. Do you think it is enough and if not, what does Ashley need to do to convince Rafa?

It’s not enough to justify a long-term contract, but maybe enough for a short-term extension of an additional 12 months. Rafa will undoubtedly have options if he leaves, so his decision isn’t going to be based on his potential earnings, it will all boil down to whether he believes he is going to be able to achieve something with the club.

He clearly loves it here, and has developed a great relationship with the fans, so an additional 12 months, where the club may be sold, may just give him his chance to build his project the way he wants. I think he will sign an extension – if it is 3 years or bust, then he will be away.

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Which six current Newcastle players (not incl Almiron or loan players Kenedy and Rondon) would you choose to definitely keep as a base for next season?

Dubravka, Lascelles, Schar, Ritchie, Longstaff and Shelvey.

Is signing Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal a no-brainer in the summer?

Absolutely. There are better strikers out there but I think he has done enough already to justify us getting him in permanently. He isn’t the final solution to our goalscoring woes, but with someone decent playing off him, and hopefully a bit of technical ability in the shape of Almiron feeding him, he could be a 15+ goal a season striker.

mike ashley

Would you keep Dwight Gayle next season?

No, I would use him in any deal for Rondon going the other way. If that isn’t an option, then sell him and use the transfer fee to purchase a replacement.

If everybody was fit now, which 11 players in the current squad would you pick for a must win game?

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Muto, Rondon

What are your views on the protests this season, anything at all you want to say, whether it is agreeing with them or not, the organisation, the effectiveness, the type of protests etc etc?

Honestly, I just don’t think they will work, whatever is done. Protests and demonstrations have been happening on and off for the last 10 years, and nothing has changed Ashley’s stance or modus operandi. Those people that participate, I say do what you personally think you have to do, my only word of caution with it is to avoid doing it before or during a game.

Liverpool fans seem to think Newcastle supporters would prefer them to win the title, rather than Man City or Spurs. Discuss.

Honestly, I don’t really care either way. Both of them are fantastic teams this year, and I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out. If there was a gun to my head and I had to choose, I would go with Liverpool. They don’t have a country behind them, they haven’t bought the league, they don’t have the best players in every position – they would be just like Leicester when they won it – earned it the hard way!

The Newcastle United season so far…

Best game:

Man City win without a doubt

mike ashley

Worst game:

Has to be the Man Utd 3-2 loss. We should never have thrown that lead away.

Best moment:

Ritchie’s penalty against City – what a feeling.

Worst moment:

Yedlin’s own goal against Chelsea – dying embers of the game on the back of a disappointing result against Cardiff with Kenedy missing the penalty in the last minute – that would have been a sweet point to take against a top 6 club early in the season.

Most impressive player:

Schar – absolute steal of a player, I think he has been fantastic.

Most disappointing player:

Kenedy – he just hasn’t done anything – I actually think that missed penalty at Cardiff set him up for the season. He looks like his head just isn’t in it at all.

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