I’m as sceptical as anybody else when it comes to Newcastle United and ‘transfer targets’ but this one just won’t go away.
Newcastle United have sent their head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, to Turkey to watch Besiktas in their next two games, according to NTV Spor.
They say Nickson will take in the Besiktas v Akhisar league match tomorrow (Friday), before then watching Besiktas take on Porto on Tuesday night in the Champions League.
A draw would ensure qualification for the knockout stages and almost certainly make them group winners, with a game to spare.
A vital part in that Champions League success has been Cenk Tosun, with four goals in four group matches.
It will surely rank as one of the oddest Newcastle transfer tales ever, if it ends up there being no substance to it.
As well as the previous articles on The Mag (see below), hardly a day goes by without an update, mainly from the Turkish media, on developments/interest in 26 year old Cenk Tosun.
Not saying I believe everything/anything in the Turkish media as it seems to be several levels down from even the UK press but the sheer weight of coverage makes me think that surely there must be something of substance in the reports.
Newcastle definitely need to add a goalscorer and with 34 goals in 48 starts (plus 14 as a sub) for Besiktas since the start of the 2017/17 season, plus five goals in his last five games for Turkey, Cenk Tosun has certainly proved he knows where the goal is.
Figures of up to £20m have been mentioned in recent weeks, which wouldn’t be out of place if he is indeed capable of coming into the Premier League and scoring goals.
Just over six weeks until the January transfer window opens and all will be revealed.
The Mag – 8 November 2017:
Newcastle United have been regularly linked with Cenk Tosun and as recently as last month, it was reported (see below) that Newcastle had sent scouts to watch him in action for Turkey.
The 26 year old has scored plenty of goals for both club and country in recent times, getting 26 (all competitions) for Besiktas last season.
He has followed that up with 10 goals in 15 club appearances this time around, plus has got five for Turkey in his last five starts.
The rumours/speculation seems to have taken a major leap forward, with Turkish media outlet Haberturk making some detailed claims.
They report that Besiktas president Fikret Orman and another club official (Ali Naibi) travelled to London to meet officials from Newcastle United, in order to discuss a potential Cenk Tosun transfer in January.
They are also said to have met with representatives from Tottenham.
The Turkish media don’t have a high success rate with transfer stories, particularly where Newcastle United are concerned, though to be fair the English media are little better.
It is obvious that Newcastle desperately need a goalscorer but doubts surround exactly who will own NUFC come January, as well as exactly how much Rafa Benitez will, or won’t, have to spend.
The reports claim that Besiktas will want over €20m (at least £18m) for the striker – which to be fair is probably at least the going rate for a striker you’d hope could score goals in the Premier League.
Besiktas are currently only third in the Turkish league, five points behind leaders Galatasaray.
However, the fact that they are top of Champions League Group G, with 10 points from four games, complicates things a little.
Cenk Tosun has scored four of their eight goals in the competition and surely if they are to have any chance of going much further, they need to keep their star striker.
Maybe they do want to cash in on their star asset, who to be fair only scored a total of 13 league goals over the course of his first two seasons (2014/15 and 2015/16) at Besiktas.
More interesting for Newcastle fans is whether those type of figures (£18m+) will be available for Rafa Benitez to spend on anybody in January.
The Mag – 10 October 2017:
The Turkish media claimed Newcastle United had representatives in attendance to watch Cenk Tosun on Friday night.
The Besiktas striker had a night to forget, along with the rest of his team, as they lost 3-0 to Iceland.
Last night though, Tosun scored two excellent goals to cap an impressive performance, Turkey drawing 2-2 in Finland.
The striker has scored four times for his club and three goals for his country since the season kicked of, to go with 24 goals for Besiktas last season.
Newcastle were linked with Cenk Tosun in the summer (along with dozens of others) and the Turkish media are claiming that Rafa Benitez is keen on the player this January.
A price tag of at least £20m has been attached to the striker and Rafa undoubtedly is still keen to find a first choice striker still.
Also in this international break, it has been claimed that Brighton want Aleksandar Mitrovic in January.
Many more rumours and fun and games ahead, even before we reach January…