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.

  • Paul Patterson

    In order to wipe out the folly that was Graham Carr, the club are going to have to sacrifice the profits they thought they were going to make on these players.
    £14m is OK for Mitrovic and to ask for anything for Riviere is downright rude.

    • Leazes Ender

      He cost us £15.73m and his market value is now £8.5m but with three years left on his contract if anyone really wanted him I’d settle for that.

  • Franzcarrsuperstar

    I don’t mind the club playing a bit of hardball with people trying to buy Mitrovic. He is a saleable asset so we need to maximise what we get. Bit of haggling – settle on 15 million-ish, everybody’s happy.

    Of course Rivière is a different story. I don’t like the implication in this article that Toon were to blame for Darlow not going to Middlesbrough. 5 million was too low, so we rightly rejected it and they moved one. Darlow is another saleable asset and worth more than 5 million now, so that was the right call. Someone else will pony up…

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    There lies the problem at Newcastle, they want top dollar for players they want out yet are only willing to pay peanuts for players coming in.
    £18m for Mitro is a joke, take their hands off for £13m

  • East Durham Mag

    How on Mitrovic’s form are Charnley and co expecting to make money from his sale? No disrespect to Mitro his heart is in the right place and he’s a great lad but it hasn’t gone to plan. A loss is what they should expect.12 to 13 million would be more like it.

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    If the Northern Echo are correct, Newcastle are even more deluded than we thought. £18 million for a player who has done nothing in this country? Not the slimmest of chances.
    If they can get their money back, they’d be well advised to take it. Even that would be a rip off, in my view.

    • Steven05

      I agree. I hope they don’t expect to do a ‘Sissoko deal’ too often….

    • Taz

      Totally agree, mitro has had his chances and missed far to many for a supposed goal scorer, yes he’s only 22 but for the money we paid he should be alot better than he is,. He has done nowt as far as I’m concerned, if wa can get rid, get rid. Murphy was better in front of goal

  • steve

    The market has completely changed in the past two years, if someone like Assombalonga is going for £15 million then a full international who is still considered a top talent is worth at least that much.

  • Wor Lass

    I`m not above a bit of conspiracy theory where Penfold, Fat Mike and the transfer market is concerned but it is interesting how, when other clubs refuse to drop their price, everyone screams for Penfold et al to just pay up and get the deal done then, when we stick to our guns as sellers, the same people scream that we`re unrealistic and sabotaging any chance of players moving on. Mitro`s a current full international who regularly scores for his country and, in today`s ridiculous market, he`s worth well over £13 million. He`s not wanted by Rafa because his game isn`t suited to Rafa`s preferred tactics, not because he isn`t a decent player, and alo because he`s got to sell to finance more buys.

    • Rich Lawson

      i agree,set the bar high,wait for the lower offer then negotiate til an offer in between is mutually agreeable

    • ToonNL

      Damned if we do and damned if we don’t

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      he`s only worth what a club will pay for him if we get our money back that`s OK

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Exactly, Mitro will score a hatful of goals in a team that plays wide men and two up top.

  • Leicester Mag

    People seem to forget he is 22 a regular international who scores regularly at that level. Who are we going to get to replace him for the money Ashley will spend? For that matter why are we also looking to sell Mbemba? He had one bad game! All for trading up but when has Ash done that?

    • Natturner26

      I fear Rafa does not get it. Hopefully he knows something we don’t know.

      To get a striker a class above Mitro costs a ridiculous amount of money. Rafa plays with one striker. Why not use Mitro as a sub and backup? And the team would still need a third striker. I would make another Murphy-type buy on a youngster with loads of potential.

  • MadMag83

    They have money in their pockets from player sales, they do the same to clubs looking to buy their players

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Good. Get proper value for him. We shouldn’t be selling him off in the first place so I’d hope they’d at least make a profit off the transaction.

  • Lizfoley AkaEsther

    Here’s an idea as I can’t see us getting a world class striker for the money we can get for mitro keep him have our world class manager play tactics suited to the players at his disposal have mitro smash in a hat full for a season as he’s more than capable of if played correctly or even regularly double his value and move him on next summer and all the extra cash that we’re missing this year should give Rafa the financial clout to compete which were not doing at present imo

    • Natturner26

      That makes too much sense for Newcastle.

    • Desree

      If moitrovic were capable of scoring a hatful in a neely promoted team, where are the bids? Surely any club would snap our hands off at $18m.
      Rafa doesn’t see his potential, nor does any other manager judging ny the lack of bids.

  • HarryHype59

    He may be a full international player BUT! his league stats over the past year aren’t great. He is also on a high relative wage. The hierarchy at this club need to take a reality check regarding player development at this club.

    • Andy Mac

      Indeed we bought him as a young striker with potential and we’ve done very little to help him realise that ?

  • HenrySlade

    I doubt that there’s a club out there willing to pay anything for Riviere. He’s hopeless and the best course of action would be to give him a free transfer and have done with it.

    £18m for Mitrovic? A bit steep, but in the current market, I don’t think it’s outrageous.

  • brin mcardle

    I’m sorry to be pessimistic…but this season isnt looking good..with only one striker

    • Andy Mac

      Yup I’m getting the same sense of deja vu from 2012-13 when Fatman failed to bolster the squad then brought in the cavalry (well Debuchy, Sissoko and Goof plus some squad numbers) in January as his short sightedness had backfired once again

      • brin mcardle

        Fraid So..this so short sighted

  • Andy Mac

    Ultimately if Mitro’s not sold and we dont bring in another striker of quality then Penfold should be taken out into the centre circle on the last day of the season and bent over a barrel………………………………that’ll keep the fans in the ground until the 90th minute !