Alekandar Mitrovic appears to be looking ever more central to Rafa Benitez’ transfer plans.
The Serbian is clearly not rated by the United boss after getting only 11 starts in the Championship but to bring in another proven goalscorer to go with Dwight Gayle, it looks like Mitrovic has to find another club first.
In June, the former Anderlecht striker admitted for the first time that he was likely to leave, if a deal was right for both himself and Newcastle United.
However, it is looking increasingly apparent that NUFC could be making it all but impossible for Mitrovic to move on and subsequently, Rafa Benitez then not being able to add the striker he wants.
The situation being that there is a need to get the Serbian international off the wage bill and also then put his incoming transfer fee towards buying a Premier League level forward.
Tuesday morning brings negative headlines, with the Northern Echo saying that their information is that Mike Ashley & Lee Charnley are demanding £18m or more for Mitrovic.
Lyon need a striker and have been linked with Newcastle’s number 45 in the past week as they are desperate to bring in a forward to replace the departed Alexandre Lacazette (scored 91 goals for Lyon in past three seasons), as well as to placate fans.
After banking over £90m this summer, including £80m+ combined for Lacazette and Tolisso (signed by Bayern Munich), Lyon have only spent around £30m, with their top buy being the £8.5m paid to Chelsea for Bertrand Traore.
Despite a £60m surplus on transfers this summer, with no Champions League football this coming season (finished 4th in Ligue 1 and qualified for Europa League), Lyon don’t want to risk too much of that cash.
The Northern Echo say that sources in France claim Lyon are now going to put in a formal bid of £13m which would give Newcastle their money back on Mitrovic – but that Newcastle are demanding at least £5m more, sticking to that minimum £18m valuation.
If true, then surely we will never get rid of Mitrovic, as expecting to make a profit on a striker who scored only four goals in the Championship and couldn’t get a game most of the season, makes zero sense at all.
It increasingly feels that there are more politics than signings going on at Newcastle United and that with the Premier League looming, Rafa Benitez is being denied the chance to bring in the players he needs/wants.
Players such as Karl Darlow, Grant Hanley and a number of others, were all expected to easily find new clubs this summer, but it appears at even that lower level of players/cash, Newcastle are potentially pricing unwanted players out of a move. Darlow looked all set to go to Middlesbrough until it was widely reported Newcastle wanted more than the £5m they were prepared to pay, with Boro eventually going for Darren Randolph at £4.5m instead.
When there is even talk of Newcastle demanding a certain fee for Emmanuel Riviere, rather than giving him away, it doesn’t convince you that many players will be got out of the door, never mind getting the necessary signings into St James Park.