At the weekend it was revealed that Newcastle hadn’t had a single offer to buy Aleksandar Mitrovic.

It was reported (see below) that only loan bids had been made for the striker and rejected instantly, as Rafa Benitez is desperate to sell the unwanted 22 year old forward to raise funds to help him bring in a striker of his choice.

With only 11 Championship starts last season, Rafa clearly doesn’t see Mitrovic as fitting in with how he wants to play, which was then confirmed when the United boss even put ‘bargain’ buy Joselu into action at Huddersfield ahead of the number 45.

Last night was a strange one, as Aleksandar Mitrovic got a rare chance to impress against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup.

After only three minutes he showed very good movement and sidestepped the defender before lashing an unstoppable shot past the keeper from the edge of the box.

After that though, Mitrovic contributed pretty much nothing, his lack of pace/mobility once again leaving him lacking, especially when it comes to what Rafa Benitez wants/needs a striker to do.

Salvation for all sides could be at hand though, with Sky Sports reporting new interest in Italy for the striker.

Keith Downie covers Newcastle United for the broadcaster and he says that they have been informed by their colleagues at Sky Sports Italy that Serie A side Calgiari have approached Newcastle about Mitrovic’ availability.

A week to go in the transfer market, there was no confirmation whether the approach is to buy or an initial loan.

Even if it was only a loan on offer for the time being, you would imagine Newcastle/Rafa may well still be interested – IF they can then bring a loan striker in themselves.

A number of forwards have been mentioned, with Chelsea for example said to be possibly willing to loan Batshuayi out, if they get their own targets.

Looks like a busy week ahead…

The Mag – 20 August 2017:

Rafa Benitez has been talking once again about the issues surrounding this summer’s transfer window.

The United boss says ‘We have had a lot of interest in some of our players but the question is how much they have offered’.

The list of players Rafa would love to shift is stifling the club’s hope this coming season, with the likes of Riviere, de Jong, Haidara, Good, Lazaar, Hanley, Krul, Mitrovic, Saivet and others, all players that the manager is desperate to find new clubs for and help him to do his own transfer business.

The Chronicle have revealed that this summer Newcastle haven’t had a single offer to buy Mitrovic, with only clubs interested in loan deals.

For a player who cost £14m and one of the biggest wage earners, this has been a massive obstacle to Rafa Benitez bringing in a striker who can properly compete properly with Gayle, as well as potentially play alongside.

In the relegation run-in, Mitrovic only started two of the final seven Premier League matches that decided Newcastle’s fate, whilst only 11 Championship starts made absolutely clear Rafa doesn’t rate the Serbian.

The United boss has brought in Joselu as otherwise he would be left with no other option but to play Mitrovic if Gayle is unavailable – his injury record making that all but certain for at least some of the season.

With Gayle unavailable in the final friendlies, Rafa was forced to even try out the likes of Diame and Ritchie as emergency strikers, just in case he needed to improvise in the Premier League if the right signings aren’t made.

There appears little doubt that Joselu has straight gone in as first choice back-up for Gayle.

Elsewhere in the media there are claims in The Mail that Newcastle could still get Batshuayi on loan late on in the transfer window if Chelsea can bring in another striker.

Rafa Benitez talks about selling players and trying to replace them at this late stage.

It looks very much like it is a case of Rafa will be stuck with Mitro as one of his three strikers, unless action happens elsewhere and he can land a forward on loan, allowing Mitrovic to go elsewhere on a temporary deal – with potentially a view to a permanent deal.

Rafa Benitez:

“We have had a lot of interest in some of our players but the question is how much they have offered.

“If you say you can pay £220m for Neymar, how much is the striker at the next level? And the next?

“I said the other day that if you can kick the ball forward it’s £10m, if you can score it’s £20m.

“So how much do you expect someone interested in Gayle or Mitro or one of our other players to ensure it’s the right price? We would have to sign another one – we don’t have too many strikers.”

“Normally you will play 4-2-3-1, you can play 4-4-2 sometimes. Whatever system.

“We have three, four strikers if we put Ayo (Perez) in if someone else. More or less, we are fine.

“Our fans are saying ‘Rafa is talking about keepers but we need another striker’. We know our job, we were looking for a striker, we were waiting and then we went and got him when he became available.

“We cannot sell a striker now: why?

“We needed another one (before the signing of Joselu) and we now have three. If someone is coming in (to sign Mitrovic) they would need to make a very good offer – because if we go to the market now for a striker at the level now, how much would the price be?

“The price would be a lot, or we’d miss out. If you want to replace a player now, it has to be enough for you to compete. It’s not an easy market for us now.

“When we signed Joselu it is because we thought he could give us something we needed. Mitro, Gayle, Ayo can play up front. With him we are protected and you have someone who has played in the Premier League before.

“It was difficult for us, when Gayle had a little problem we had just Mitrovic playing during the pre-season.

“Now we have more protection and hopefully because he (Joselu) knows what it means to play in England, he will do well for us.”



  • NUFCDan

    Of course he’s available you chumps – now make a reasonable offer or f*ck off.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      you should take over handling the transfers at Newcastle, Penfold takes to long, they need someone who`s straight to the point

      • Jimblag23

        Exactly.
        You want him? He’s this much.
        We’ll accept because we’ve got this guy lined up and we’ve met the asking price.
        Boom 1 out 1 in.

        • Paul Patterson

          Trouble is, the buying/selling club is dealing with Charnley . .

          • NUFCDan

            I doubt its going to happen – a quick Google reveals Calgaris record transfer fee paid is £6m and highest earner on £25k. Would they double their transfer record and triple their highest earning player salary for a Championship flop?

          • 1957

            Or any player, lower teams in Italy sell big buy cheap and live off the profit, perhaps an ideal destination for Ashley’s next investment.

        • Jezza

          Realistically it’ll be one out and conveniently too late to get one in. That’s the way it always is with Ashley.

      • Jezza

        They’ll certainly be taking their time with this one with the objective of the deal finally going through on the evening of he 31st. Nothing ever changes with Ashley.

        • Oval85

          Actually, I cannot remember last time we did a transfer the final day of the window, so something will actually change IF that happens…

          • Jezza

            Andy Carroll
            Yoan Cabaye
            Moussa Sissoko
            All sold on the evening on a transfer deadline day

          • Oval85

            Right… I was a bit out of myself there and actually thought about signings… We agree then.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            and where`s the money

          • Oval85

            xmas gravy

          • Jezza

            I think we all know the answer to that one.

  • Paul Busby

    If he went out the door, I would have zero confidence in us having a replacement lined up… actually scratch that; I would have zero confidence in us agreeing the fee for the suitable replacement in time.

    • Jezza

      If Mitro does go, you can bet your life Ashley will pull off his usual trick of completeing the deal at tea time on 31st August when it’s conveniently too late to re-invest the money/sign a replacement.

  • Paul Patterson

    Not so sure about this. And where would it leave the signing of Joselu? A wasted signing? I’d take Batshuyi mind . .

    • Clarko

      Joselu replaced Murphy.

      • Paul Patterson

        Fair point.

  • GToon

    The way that Charnley operates when he buys is he starts at £1m and then each days increases his offer by a minuscule amount hoping that the transfer window shuts before the magical “line” can be reached or better still another club come in with an acceptable offer like Everton are about to do with Dennis Praet.
    When he is selling he ends every conversation with the line “I’ll have to ask Mike if that’s enough and get back to you”. He then puts The Night Garden on TV and forgets all about it.

  • Leicester Mag

    There a shed load of players who should be ahead of Mitro in the queue to leave. Selling him without any effective replacement seems madness. If we ever played 442 he might be an asset.

    • Clarko

      There is more interest in Mitrovic, meaning he is easier to sell. Benitez is in control of transfers, logic would suggest that Benitez believes he can bring in a replacement that would improve the squad.

      • Leicester Mag

        Take the point but for whatever reason signings to date have been a mixed bag and that maybe being kind.

        • Clarko

          I would argue we have improved the squad this window:

          Murphy > Gouffran
          Lejeune > Hanley
          Merino > Colback
          Joselu > Murphy
          Manquillo > Anita
          Atsu = Atsu

          That’s not me saying we have improved the squad enough, the truth is I don’t know if we have, based on the above I think it’s fair to give Benitez the benefit of the doubt that if Mitrovic is sold an improvement would be brought in. Right now Mitrovic is our third choice striker and I don’t like the idea of Newcastle having £15m sat on the bench.

          • Leicester Mag

            Umm some of these are debatable as for 3rd choice striker problem is first choice is totally unfit and Joselu well too early to tell.

          • Clarko

            The only one that I really think is debatable is Manquillo vs Antia and I think I could win that debate.

            On the striker issue I don’t agree with or understand the “unfit” comment, Gayle is our first choice striker and has played 128 out of 180 minutes of league football this season, either way he is our first choice.

            I would argue Joselu is our second choice striker, that’s based on the idea that he is a Benitez signing, he was chosen ahead of Mitrovic in the Huddersfield game, the fact that Mitrovic is transfer listed and the lack of football afforded to Mitrovic in the Championship.

          • Leicester Mag

            Gayle has been on the pitch but that’s about as much as can be said. He had no pre season and is not fit and would not start if had a proper squad

          • Clarko

            Form and fitness are two different things. He did play 180 minutes of football in pre-season.

          • Paul Busby

            I’d take Anita over Manquillo over what I’ve seen so far, but Yedlin is 1st choice anyway I guess.

          • Clarko

            Below are some of the points I would use to argue how Manquillo is ahead of Anita, but I am not looking to debate that. The actual point of the comment was to show that Benitez has improved the squad, which by your comment you generally agree with.

            -Manquillo is a specialised right back, Anita is not.

            -Anita could have been kept on for no cost, instead Benitez chose to pay for Manquillo.

            -Anita moved to Leeds suggesting he isn’t “EPL quality”.

          • Paul Busby

            I think you could make a comfortable argument that Manquillo might not be up to the task… look where he came from.

            I would largely agree that the squad has improved, very much baby steps though.

          • Cuh

            Murphy > Gouffran? Not so far

          • Clarko

            16/17 season:

            Gouffran: 2814 minutes, 5 goals, 4 assists
            Murphy: 2621 minutes, 8 goals, 8 assists

            Murphy > Gouffran

          • GToon

            I think you are right. But I still think we need a bit of quality in the team. A creative midfielder would be a start. A goalkeeper too and maybe a goalscorer. Reina would be a great buy.

  • Steve Pearce

    Sky Sports reports that the sky is green with red clouds, pigs can fly and Mike Ashley is the most popular owner Newcastle have ever had….

    • Albert Stubbins

      and Mitro is better than Pedro.

  • Mal

    It would be silly to get rid at this stage as we wouldn’t be able to get a decent replacement in. If we are getting Kenedy we can’t have Batshuyai.

    • Clarko

      Why wouldn’t we be able to get a decent replacement in?

      • Mal

        I guess we could but I suppose I’m going on the way things have happened in the past. I just have a feeling we would run out of time.

        • Clarko

          The difference being now is that Benitez is in control, if he allows Mitrovic to leave you have to assume he is confident he can bring in an improvement.

          • Mal

            Hope so. Personally can’t wait for the window to close so we know who else, if anyone, has come in. Hopefully there’ll be quite a few outgoings.

    • Jezza

      At the start of the summer I was all for getting shot of Mitrovic and bringing in somebody much better. If they sell him at this stage however you just know there will be no replacement and, as ever, the end result will be Ashley pocketing a nice few million quid on deadline day while the team suffers.

  • anyobrien

    I think mitro with someone up front with him in say a radical 442 formation could prosper.

    • Geordiegiants

      Mitro is pure shuyte man, you say you have been going for years, have you forgot some of his ridiculous misses last time in the prem?

      • anyobrien

        Hey man ya boring.

        • Geordiegiants

          Riviere would of put away the Everton chance man.

          • anyobrien

            Aye reet oh

          • Oval85

            He wouldn’t… 100%!

          • Geordiegiants

            I could of scored it never mind Rivière.

          • Cuh

            Comparing yourself with Riviere? You can’t be that bad man!!

      • Jezza

        Mitro is not much good I’ll grant you. Nevertheless I’d still hate to see him sold on deadline day with no replacement and Ashley walking away with another £10 to £15 million quid in his back pocket.

        • Geordiegiants

          Jezza I wouldnt, if we can get rid of him, he has to go, replacement or not. He simply is nowhere near good enough, nor does he have the potential to cut it in the prem.

          • Oval85

            And still he’s our biggest goal threat out of the options we have at this point.

          • Geordiegiants

            Don’t be so ridiculous.

          • Cuh

            A goal in every game he has played so far, best goal tally in a single EPl season of all our forwards… It doesn’t sound so ridiculous.

          • Geordiegiants

            Stats don’t always stack up. Unless of course Clarko is telling us for fact.

          • Cuh

            Lol!

          • Oval85

            Just as ridiculous as someones opinions online.
            It does help with facts though, because it makes you look less ridiculous.
            Without it you are just another troll.

          • Geordiegiants

            Why is nobody wanting to buy him now for the same money we bought him for 2/3 years ago when the prices now compared to then are astronomical? Surely if he was that good and cheap for a good player, in today’s market he would of been snapped up in an instant. Nottingham Forrest paid £15m for a striker from the championship, surely Mitro is peanuts In comparison.

        • 1957

          We all know that will happen.

          Everyone keeps mentioning Batshuayi but firstly would he come to us even on loan and secondly we can’t have two players from the same PL team on loan with us so the Kenedy deal would bite the dust, if its still alive, which would Benitez pick?

          A half or probably full season with Gayle, Jose Luis and Perez, backed up by SloMo, to score the goals to keep us up

      • Albert Stubbins

        exactly- if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck its a duck- should we all just wait patiently for him to come good- we’d be playing gatesheed ffs- proper pony- positional sense non existent- couldnt make a run to the bog and like a frightened rabbit anywhere near the 18 yard box- all the ingrediants required for a top striker!!

  • anyobrien

    I still think there is a player in mitro somewhere… Remember Jon Dahl tomasson….. Left and went on to win the lot.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      2 days a week with Super Al would sort him

      • anyobrien

        Correct

      • Oval85

        Make that until xmas and we get the beast we’ve dreamed of since he came

      • Mal

        Agree 100%. I can’t understand why it hasn’t been done.

      • Cuh

        Well that’s a good idea. Perhaps bringing some ex NUFC boys back could inspire this lot.

      • Geordiegiants

        Why has no body else came in for him? He is for sale for the same amount as we paid for him 2/3 years ago, if he was any good or had potential to be any good, prem clubs or at least championship clubs would be in for him.

    • Oval85

      He had 2 good years in Milan, but apart from that he’s wins were in Holland.
      De Jong has won alot…

      • anyobrien

        Won champions league, itatalin seria A, Italian cup… Also played in 2005 champions league final… Not to shabby imo

        • Oval85

          Yeah, but other than the 2003-2004 season where he scored 12 Serie A goals, he was mostly on the bench and he was there 3 seasons.

    • 1957

      Tomasson was a good player but came to Newcastle at the wrong time. Kenny’s plan for him to play off Shearer disappeared pre season and as a result he was like a boy among men with only an erratic Tino for support.

      Mitrovic will develop into a better player than we’ve seen, his international appearances show that, he’s just under the wrong manager not suited to the only system of play we use. For his own future career its best he move on

      • Geordiegiants

        Why is nobody coming in for him if he is a decent player, it can’t be his price or wages, we are only looking for our money back, and the price of good players has gone through the roof since we signed him, and so have good players wages. So neither of them can be the stumbling block if he is as good as people are trying to make out.

        • Dave Corkin

          Rafa is defensive, has always been. But given our position I don’t think that is a bad thing. Mitro can’t develop as he doesn’t have the discipline or commitment to improve himself. If he did we would of seen his touch improve, his positioning improve and he would be fitter. It’s not rocket science, just self analysis and fundamentally the difference between the top players and the rest. So I don’t blame Rafa or any coach for Mitro not being good enough, I blame him.

      • Popnbgd

        I couldn’t agree more…

    • Albert Stubbins

      The only chance that there’s a good player in Mitro somewhere is on the off chance he swallowed Peter Beardsley for his tea last night!!!

  • Cuh

    Who really believes we are anywhere near Batshuayi? Would Jovetic leave champions league football with inter for us?

    If we sell Mitrovic, you all better be looking forward to an early loan recall for Armstrong or Toney. Wonder why we have to sell before buying. Why can’t we do a deal how Stoke city did ours with Joselu? Replacement in first, before releasing our player

    • 1957

      Neither will come to us and would we have to recall Toney or Armstrong before the deadline for them to play before January.

      • Cuh

        The batshuayi deal was always a fairytale. Impossible stuff. Sigurdsson I would have loved. But clearly he has gone in search of no more 17th place finishes

        • mentalman

          if we loan kenedy then it shows the batshuayi deal was always a dead duck

  • TheNutJob

    If Mitro goes for £13m Fatty`s slave Penfold will hold back the sale until D day when it`s to late to get a replacement in.
    the Pie Man will go on the lash with his mates then it`ll be a casino where he`ll drop a mill & declare not to worry boy`s there`s another 12 where that came from
    😂😂😂😂

    • Cuh

      What’s even more important is the consequence on the pitch

      • TheNutJob

        we`re hard pressed to field a decent first 11 yet there`s £25m on the bench in Mitro & Murph

        • Cuh

          Well the gaffer best be seen to make an effort to recoup some of that, right? If he tries and if doesn’t work, we can’t fault him. But if he keeps the 25m on the bench, he looks bad

  • Mrkgw

    Far better player than Joselu but, Rafa may well feel that given Mitrovic’s temperament, that he is too much of a liability. If the club recoup their money, the regime will be satisfied.

  • HappyToons

    How come we play with wingers then only one up front? Surely Mitro is never going to get better than a side that often plays 2 wingers! Yet…he doesn’t play; if he does he doesn’t get much service; when he does he misses too many easy chances. You need to be a 1 goal 2 chances merchant in the premiership to be a quality striker. Gayle was a quality goal merchant in the Championship, but will he get the service in the premiership? Modern Premiership doesn’t give a striker enough game time to develop. To stay up you need goals, hence a proven striker. There’s a lot of foreign talent who don’t deliver in the premiership and soon moved on. I wouldn’t mind if Mitro missed a hatful every week but still managed to score!!!

    • mentalman

      do we actually play with wingers though, for me wingers stay out wide and cross the ball into the box, our current wide players try and walk the ball into the box with very few crosses going in, that’s why our lone strikers are going to struggle, i think aarons probably put more crosses into the box against forest than the rest have in 2 games this season

  • Popnbgd

    There is no future for Newcastle with Rafa as a coach….He plays a way to defensive,cowardly…2 strikers upfront is a must and Mitrovic needs to play as a starter….I don’t understand harsh critics of Mitrovic…He is not getting any service and NFC should play on his strength…

    • Geordiegiants

      So why is nobody in for him ?

      • Popnbgd

        Thanks to Rafa….He didn’t get any significant playing time and for a young player as Mitro it is devastating…NFC style of play doesn’t help at all,he has no service as a target man,he just turned 22 and NFC should play on his strength…and with 2 strikers

        • Geordiegiants

          Why isn’t he playing?

          • East Durham Mag

            Cos Rafa and most of us know he can’t cut it and has a suspect temperament.

          • Wor Lass

            That suspect temperament thing has been done to death because of a four game streak when he arrived over two years ago. He`s feisty but more disciplined than Jonjo, Ritchie and Colback.

          • Cuh

            Far more than Jonjo

          • Geordiegiants

            The elbow against West Ham?

          • Wor Lass

            I honestly haven`t seen it. I watched the highlights on sky on Sat night and don`t remember it featuring – but I was slightly more than half cut and could well have nodded off at the crucial moment. I can tell you one thing, though, if it had been Harry Kane then the media wouldn`t have said anything about it and it would have slid on by. I also think the ref saw it and decided not to deal with it at the time but isn`t going to contradict the FA now.

          • Geordiegiants

            Yeah but on the whole Kane is an honest pro that made a very bad decision, Mitro is a thug and can’t help himself but hit out when thing aren’t going his way, he is like the school yard bully.

          • Wor Lass

            I think he`s honest – he honestly can`t help himself!

      • Popnbgd

        No one wants to spend a fortune on a player that doesn’t play at all…

        • Geordiegiants

          In other words he isn’t good enough?

          • Popnbgd

            You are entitled to your own opinion…You are being negative Nancy and this attitude of yours is definitely not helping NCU

          • Geordiegiants

            If he is a good player why is no one in for him? We would happily take our money back, £14m in today’s market, that is pennies for a good striker.