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.
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