After discussing who Newcastle United have been linked with in my previous article, and where the side needs strengthening, we can now turn our attention to players who may be leaving the club. With the season coming to a close the transfer window will soon be declared open, and the frenzy will begin.
Tim Krul has turned into one of the Premier League’s hottest properties after an incredible season in goal. With Spurs looking to replace 41-year-old Brad Friedel and Chelsea looking for a replacement for the sometimes uncertain Petr Cech, Krul’s is a name that has been touted. It would take a sum of Andy Carroll-esque proportions to prise him away from St. James’ Park, and the youngster signed a five-year contract extension in March.
With reinforcements needed at the back, there is one player whose future is far from certain on Tyneside. Danny Simpson was signed on a permanent deal from Manchester United after a successful loan-spell in our Championship winning season. Reportedly on £10k a week, the club have allegedly offered him a deal worth around £25k a week but Simpson has, for one reason or another, refused to sign on.
Although he has a year left on his contract, he was close to a move to Aston Villa or Premier League newcomers Queens Park Rangers in the January transfer window. Simpson is statistically one of the best right-backs in the league, and as a result feels as though he warrants a more lucrative contract and could be shown the exit door as the club may look to cash in rather than lose him on a free next summer.
Other defenders who may be on their way out are youngsters James Tavernier and Tamas Kadar, both their contracts expire in June and there are no signs that the two will be offered new deals. A number of fans had hoped that Kadar would have been called upon when the club suffered its defensive crisis, but injuries have kept the Hungarian out of contention.
As with the previous two transfer windows, Cheick Tiote is rumoured to be the target of a big-money bid from one of the ‘Big Four’. Although his contract doesn’t run out until 2017, Chelsea have been heavily linked with a £20m move and Newcastle need to be on their guard if they want to secure one of their best signings of the last two years.
It is also worth noting that Tiote will be absent again in the New Year as the African Cup of Nations is being held once more before falling into a cycle that will no longer clash with the World Cup.
After being loaned to MK Dons for the remainder of the 2011/12 season, Alan Smith looks to have kicked his last ball whilst under contract at Newcastle United. After signing for £6m from Manchester United in 2007, injuries and new arrivals forced Smith out of the first team squad where he has sat on his purported £60k a week contract.
The Journal reported that Smith may stay on in a coaching role after turning down the opportunity to join the Academy’s coaching set-up before seeing the season out in Milton Keynes.
Another midfielder whose contract runs out at the end of this season is Danny Guthrie. Guthrie has surprised many this season with a string of good performances in the centre of midfield in the absence of both Yohan Cabaye and Tiote.
It could come as a surprise to see him leave on a free, because he has shown Alan Pardew that he is still capable at performing at this level, but the Toon chief may be looking at bringing in a few more faces in midfield in preparation for European football.
‘arry Redknapp’s been up to his usual tricks in talking about clubs and players that he has no association with, and earlier this year he dropped the ‘bombshell’ regarding a supposed release clause in Demba Ba’s contract.
If he is to be believed, Ba could leave the club for as little as £7m – a tidy profit on a player that cost nothing but a price well below the value of a 16 goal (at the time of writing) striker in the League. As with Tiote, he will also be absent for the 2013 ACoN.
Peter Lovenkrands looks to be on his way out when his contract expires, but is hopeful that he will be given an extension after a thigh injury kept him out for the majority of the season.
As I said before, all of this is speculation. But with European football next season there is the possibility of a very busy window for the Magpies as they look to bring in fresh faces and free up the wage budget for Pardew’s toughest year as manager.