Whilst Newcastle United were unveiling (behind closed doors!) Steve McClaren on Wednesday afternoon, Swansea City were completing the signing of Andre Ayew on a four year contract.

Newcastle had long been credited with an interest as the player ran down his contract and was going to be available on a free.

It was a signing that looked right up Mike Ashley’s street, a skilful versatile player who can play right across the frontline as well as behind the main striker, available with no transfer fee and at the age of 25 he has that all important resale value.

Only yesterday this background info on the winger/striker appeared on The Mag:

‘No wonder Swansea are keen to pay the price for the Ghanaian star, a record of 44 goals in 141 Ligue 1 starts over the last 5 years is impressive, as is the countless assists he has chalked up as well.

Ayew has scored 60 goals in a total of 177 starts in all competitions in those last five years at Marseille, plus has played Champions League football in four of the five.’

Yet days before Swansea completed Ayew’s signing, journalists close to the Mike Ashley regime put out the message that Newcastle didn’t compete for his signature because he didn’t represent ‘value for money’.

Which clearly refers to the player wanting too much in wages.

The question now is, will the players that Newcastle United actually do bring in, prove to  have more ability and influence on the pitch next season than Andre Ayew?

Will the signings Newcastle fans expect to see shortly, convince them that Mike Ashley is indeed now going to show ambition?

At the moment Fabricio Coloccini is by far Newcastle United’s biggest wage earner but recent years have seen Ashley and the club put a ceiling on what any other new player earns.

Whilst we all know football players earn crazy amounts these days, the reality is that if you don’t pay the price tag, in transfer fee and/or wages, then they will go elsewere, as appears to have happened with Andre Ayew.

We are led to expect that Mike Ashley has made a U-turn and players such as Charlie Austin and other players proven in the Premier League, are in Newcastle’s sights.

Credible players, especially those who score goals, won’t come cheap and so the big question must be, whether Mike Ashley is now changing his strategy on wages and is going to allow a higher level than allowed in recent years.

If the answer is no, then surely players such as Charlie Austin are non-starters.

If the answer is yes, then we can all just hope that Newcastle United are still seen as a credible club which is potentially capable of fulfilling the ambitions of both potential signings, as well as those of the fans.

After watching Swansea sign the likes of Bony, Gomis and now Ayew, as Newcastle refused to pay what it would have taken to land them. We now all wait to see if the lessons of relying on budget players (or no new players in a number of transfer windows) such as Riviere, Ferreyra and Gouffran has been learnt.

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  • Birketts

    £96k a week Apparentley at Swansea plus whatever his singing on fee was, not value for money in my eyes!!!

  • mentalman

    There’s no such thing as a free transfer anymore, the talk is his signing on fee was nearly £10million just like Swansea paid Gomis £7million to sign.
    A big deal is made when we don’t go for a player like Ayew but why are they ending up at a team like swansea, he’s got good stats etc so why isn’t a bigger team going for him

  • DownUnderMag

    No problem not going for this type of player.  The judgement comes after the window is closed and we see what we have bought and how good our squad is.  We have had too many mercenaries in the past and that got us nowhere….still plenty of good players out there.

  • ncncnc

    ive watched a lot of him and while he’s ok i wouldn’t say he’s worth crying over for not getting.
    scores a lot of goals against lesser opponents, gets much more time in that league than he would in the premier and seems to drift in and out of games – he’s also not very disciplined in keeping his position – again something i don’t think he will get away with in the premier league.
    if he was truly free and on a reasonable wage then worth a go – but he wouldn’t have been. 
    if he was as good as some will now make out as we didn’t sign him then surely more (and better) teams would have snapped him up. 
    i’m also happy for us to take as few non european footballers as possible – we are never going to have the biggest squad and losing even more to the acon etc would be no good at all for us.

  • Gallowgate82

    According to reports in France the guy has an exceptionally bad attitude and will disappear when things are not going well. I think NUFC have done well to avoid this player.
    Gignac has been quoted as saying him and his brothers are Mother******* and caused endless dressing room rows due to moaning and undermining team spirit.

  • Mal44

    mentalman’ A big deal is made when we don’t go for a player like Ayew but why are they ending up at a team like swansea, he’s got good stats etc so why isn’t a bigger team going for him’

    On this basis we wouldn’t go for any player that a top club isn’t also after – then we possibly wouldn’t sign anyone. The reality is unfortunately that, at the present time, we are probably in the same market as the Swanseas of this world. I’m not saying we should have gone for Ayew by the way – I know nothing about him. Hope we get Austin though.

  • SamBrown3

    Its a 4 year deal and it will cost Swansea 18.7m in total, that to me does not say free, he really isnt worth the trouble, he is a mercenary and even though he may have a good spell with Swansea at some point, it wont paper over the massive cracks

  • Porciestreet

    SamBrown3  Which player nowadays is not a mercenary. They all want the most they can squeeze out of the game and loyalty is now a thing of the past for the greater majority.

  • toon tony

    We already have the biggest mercenary at the club, step forward Michael Ashley. !!!!!!

  • Gordonthetoony

    Newcastle put so many names out of players they are after I suggest in future they say nothing until their target is ” over the line “. Keep stum to prevent bidding wars.
    Latest one today, Sky saying Necastle after Tom Ince, however, Derby have said they’ll break their transfer record to get him so I suspect we’ll be outbid.

  • Timptoon

    mentalman What difference does it make if we pay the player or another club? £7 million for Gomis was a fair price but we weren’t willing to pay it. Charnley’s mistake. Let’s see if he has learnt from it.

  • ScottDickson

    He’s only a slight improvement on Gouffran, We’ve missed a bullet in my opinion, especially at those wages. McClaren talked about character and Ayew falls flat on that one, goes missing too often. In all fairness, Swansea rarely get it wrong but I think they’ve signed an average player for top money.