If you had any doubts as to where Aleksandar Mitrovic stands at Newcastle United, it was made very clear on Wednesday night.

After only one point from seven matches Rafa Benitez once again made sweeping changes but rather than getting his first Premier League start of the season, Mitrovic found himself not even on the bench.

With only 89 minutes of Premier League football this season and ignored for even most of the Championship season, the Serbian forward definitely needs a new club in January.

Reports from Italy on Thursday morning claim that Serie A could be his next port of call.

Tuttosport claim that Torino want Aleksandar Mitrovic and Afriyie Acquah is being offered as part of a swap deal, with Newcastle also said to want the deal to happen.

In the summer it was repeatedly reported that the defensive midfielder was set to join Newcastle United and the player himself (see below) even said he was ‘90%’ certain to be moving to the Premier League, only then to later bizarrely claim he was ‘100%’ committed to Torino.

Whatever was said/happened in the summer, Afriyie Acquah is in a similar position to Mitrovic, both of them seeing more football for their country than their respective clubs.

Acquah is an international teammate of Christian Atsu with Ghana and has only started two Serie A games this season, though last season he only started 13 league matches, so not exactly a regular anyway.

Torino are currently ninth in Serie A and looking to add another striker, it would be a major surprise if they weren’t happy to let Afriyie Acquah go if there is genuine interest in a swap deal for Mitrovic.

As for Newcastle United, the latest defeat to Everton showed weaknesses all over the pitch, and whatever funds Rafa Benitez does have, will need to be used wisely.

Even if a takeover quickly progresses and funds are made available by Amanda Staveley’s bidders in January, as was reported on Wednesday, it will still only be fairly limited funds at today’s prices and any unwanted players who can be moved out of St James Park will be a bonus, both in saved wages and potential transfer/loan fees.

The transfer window opens in only 18 days time and you would imagine Rafa Benitez will be desperate to make some quick deals.

The Mag – 20 June 2017:

Three weeks ago, an exclusive reported that Newcastle United were trying to sign Afriyie Acquah.

Then yesterday (Monday 19 June), quotes from an interview with the 25 year old Torino defensive midfielder made clear a deal to a Premier League club was ‘90% complete’ and that it has always ‘been a dream of mine to play in England’.

To further tantalise Newcastle fans, the player started to follow the official Newcastle United account on Twitter, the only English club he is now following on social media.

Newcastle supporters find the transfer window frustrating/confusing enough, without then the latest update from the player himself on Tuesday morning.

Afriyie Acquah seems to think he has clarified things but…

Afriyie Acquah on Twitter 20 June 2017:

“Reports that I claimed a ‘90% done deal’ to Newcastle United completely FALSE.

“100% committed to Torino FC. See video.”

The video he points to, is the one below. This is the video interview where the quotes are taken from, when he says a move to the Premier League is ‘90% complete’.

Yes it doesn’t specifically name Newcastle United, as we pointed out yesterday (see below), but ‘100% committed to Torino’…work that one out!!!

The Mag – 19 June 2017:

Three weeks ago (see below) an exclusive claimed that both Newcastle and Juventus were chasing the signature of Afriyie Acquah.

The 25 year old defensive midfielder currently plays for Torino but FootballMadeInGhana.com said he was likely to move on.

Now the same media source has spoken to the player, with Afriyie Acquah stating that he is in negotiations with a Premier League club and that he has always dreamed of playing in England.

Having a summer break on holiday, the Ghanaian international says that talks are ongoing but that the deal with an unnamed English club is 90% completed, with an announcement to be made once finalised.

Whether there is any substance and these two exclusives (Newcastle chasing Acquah/deal 90% done with a Premier League club) marry up, remains to be seen.

Afriyie Acquah talking to FootballMadeInGhana.com:

“Yes, it is very likely I will be moving to England.

“It is 90% complete but we are still talking, once we finish I am sure an announcement will be made.

“It has been a dream of mine to play in England and I am very close to achieving this.”

The Mag – 30 May 2017:

An exclusive has claimed that Newcastle want to sign Afriyie Acquah.

The 25 year old defensive midfielder currently plays for Torino, who finished ninth in Serie A this past season.

The player having also played for Palermo, Parma and Sampdoria in the Italian top tier, with in amongst that a move to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga not working out, with Afriyie Acquah not playing a single game at the German club.

Acquah featured in 29 of Torino’s 38 Serie A matches last season but only 20 this time around, starting 13 league matches but starting on the bench 17 times.

Despite this, Ghana Soccer Net claim in an exclusive that both Newcastle and Juventus are interesting in signing the defensive midfielder this summer.

A move to Juventus looks a little unlikely, with the Italian champions having Champions League cash to spend on targeting major signings, plus of course they can offer CL football, as well as potentially the chance to play for the reigning Champions League holders – if they beat Real Madrid. Another complication, even if Juventus were interested, is that it would mean Torino selling a player to their city rivals.

If there is substance in the story, the fact Afriyie Acquah isn’t a guaranteed first team regular at Torino doesn’t necessarily mean he couldn’t do a job for Newcastle in the Premier League.

The player sounds very similar to Cheick Tiote and the Ivory Coast international was a big hit in his first few years on Tyneside, even though he only started 10 league matches for FC Twente in the season before he joined Newcastle.

Afriyie Acquah is an international teammate of Christian Atsu and unlike the winger, was named in the latest Ghana Squad.

They have an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia is on 11 June, with then friendlies against Mexico on 28 June and USA on 1 July – that last game only two days before Newcastle begin pre-season training.

There does appear to be a bit of a Ghanaian theme running through a number of transfer rumours surrounding Newcastle, with another international teammate of Atsu’s, Frank Acheampong, linked with NUFC at the weekend.  He is a winger who currently plays for Anderlecht and is a former teammate of Mbemba and Mitrovic.

The reports claim that the midfielder has an £8 million valuation, which of course would make him easily affordable for Newcastle, with wages surely not a problem either if Rafa Benitez did make a move.

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  • S.G.M.

    Rafa wont get to spend the Mandy money, (if there is any)

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Current market value £2,5m,
    never heard of him & i don`t want to

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Rafa will do some more awful business no doubt .. Sells, Lazar, Diame etc … what a waste of young talent Mbemba, Mitrovic and Aarons … I keep hearing how Rafa improves players ..

    • ghostrider

      All our players are going backwards under Rafa.

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        There’s a con job going on in regard to our “world class manager” .. you can’t make decisions like he has consistently and be considered world class.. I hear how thorough Rafa is supposed to be, meticulously going over games, re watching video to work out his strategy.. this just doesn’t stack up if you play Gayle as a lone striker or give Perez and Diame game time regularly.. you can’t play two seasons without building or even trying a pairing of Mitrovic and Gayle, you can’t believe Mbemba or Gamez isn’t better than Manquillo or that Joselu offers anything at this level … a blind man on a galloping horse can see our failings without repeating them week after week .. any other manager in our history would be facing questions about his selections and in game tactics, especially his ineffective substitutions but he seems to float above any criticism.. it’s a case of the emperors new clothes.

        • Buck Blacket

          Why don’t we put you in charge, you sound like an expert with all the answers. And you’ve obviously put that managerial expertise to good use by winning the Champions league with some club or other. You have won the Champions league right? Surely you must have done?

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            You seem in shock that someone can have informed opinions.. should I just shout “toon toon” and repeat the cack the chronicle churns out?

          • Buck Blacket

            God forbid you should just shout “toon toon”, hell no, that’s what supporters do!

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            The non thinking soccer am type do… others have opinions

          • Buck Blacket

            Well at least you had the good grace not to put “informed” before the word opinion or was that just an oversight? Lol

    • jack

      It’s players like mitro, mbemba and Aaron’s benitez should be building his team around , what he has against these players I’ll never know , it seems he’s taken a dislike to all three , let’s put it this way , they’re better than some of the rubbish he’s signed , diame , Lazar and manquillo to name just three

  • Paul Patterson

    So the proposal to our goal scorer problems is to flog/swap our TOP PREMIER-LEAGUE GOAL SCORER and replace him with an untried Defensive Midfielder? Barmy!

    • Viru leckworth

      Yet another rose tinted kipper.

    • gallowgate26

      FFS, he’s only our ‘top PL goal scorer’ because we haven’t got any. Dwight Gayle will be at the end of this season. Give it a rest man, Mitrovic is not good enough, he’s a donkey. Alan Shearer is our TOP PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL SCORER. lol

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Nufc seem to shovel the schitt out of one door whilst shovelling new schitt in another door.

    • Peaky Magpie

      What’s the Rafalution situation this morning Moose ??? What are BetVictor saying ???? I’m away oot before Leazes reads and answers that last bit 😂

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I cancelled the Rafalution last night, the lads on the ronnie are upset about it
        😂😂😂

        • Buck Blacket

          Do you not think you’d be better off supporting Man City? They win every game and that’s what you want right? God forbid they should lose one though MackemMoose or you’ll be calling for Pep’s head on a spike!

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            My 2nd team is and always has been Real Madrid
            Bucket Head would a more applicable name for a [email protected]@king idiot like you

          • Buck Blacket

            Ahahaha Real Madrid? That fits but how many times have you called for Zidane’s head this season MackemMoose?

  • S.G.M.

    Rafa cant play Mitrovic, how will it look if he scores?

    • Buck Blacket

      How will it look if he murderes one of the opposition’s defenders? Only THEN will people get the message and say Rafa was right. Lol

      • thewildchimp

        He didn’t murder anyone in the WC Qualifiers. Apparently, he was too busy getting in the opposition box and scoring…

        • Buck Blacket

          So all we need then is the rest of the Serbia squad and he can do the same for us. Oh hang on….

          • thewildchimp

            Only Tadic from what little I’ve seen. But I doubt The Saints would part with him. :)

  • Peaky Magpie

    FFS man has Rafa lost the effing plot,the blokes not a full peseta (google it younguns) anymore.Keegan & Pardew went white haired,McClown hit the bottle,Geordie John went totally deluded but Rafa has gone totally in the heed.The life of managing NUFC strikes again.

  • Leazes Ender

    It doesnt take much to do a bit of homework on the player involved Graham, can I suggest transfermarkt, which will show his measly value, his injury strewn career, and his lack of football…..

    ……doesn’t it occur to you that if you copy a news report it may have been instigated by the players agent….. to try and sell him.

    ….In short….

    He’s sh*te and you are purveying ‘fake news;’ or as our rodent chum puts it….. ‘Shoveling Sh*te’

    • Buck Blacket

      Completely agree with you on this one but just look at the overreaction of some of the comments. Some people are falling over themselves to stick the boot in, any excuse will do.

      • Leazes Ender

        I just wish some of the Mag writers would leave this nonsense to Ryder and Dr, Ed Harrison….. they’ll both be in full ‘bin-dipping’ mode soon.

        A lot of it is designed to cause uproar for no other reason than getting hits for the website and attracting advertising.

        • HappyToons

          Spot on, ‘hits for the website’, just look at Ed Harrison and the players we have supposedly been linked too since the summer…100’s at least. How can anyone even be bothered to even read it…’seriously?’

          How many Chron’ articles on ‘the takeover’ that just regurgitates the same old pile every day, already reported beforehand elsewhere.

          ‘Amanda and Mike buy a takeaway, now that’s Paradise’ regurgitated 100 times as the latest news. First name terms without ever having spoken to either. ‘Mandy and Mick …’

          At least years ago, before the internet, ‘Freddie Star Ate My Hamster’ would only be viewed at the newsstand and bought/swallowed by the simpleton.

          The Chron’ used to be on the ball and first with everything, like Keegan signing or when he came as manager. It is now the online version of the Daily Star and makes Alan Oliver look like a genius compared to Ryder. At least Oliver had genuine contacts within the club.

          Who fancies Ryder’s job? How hard is to write about all things NUFC? Least I have the looks …I’ll do it for half his money : )

          • Leazes Ender

            Aye I see Max Clifford has just passed away…. he invented the Hamster story.

        • Haitchdee

          Stopped reading about who is coming, Sick of the pointless waffle. Will believe in the takeover when it happens and reserve judgment on the benefits. Although the fatlads departure would make it a positive move. Far bigger changes are needed than a couple of players.

  • Viru leckworth

    Must admit I am confused by the inclusion of Diame who didn’t seem to know which foot to use. Also why Mbemba has been sidelined. Mitro I vacillate about. Is it worth giving him a start ahead of Joselu? The only thing I have to work with is, although I can voice opinions, I have never managed a foot ball team. Rafa has managed at the top. Maybe there is long term method in his, apparent, madness.

    • Taz

      The word Diame and football used in the same sentence is confusing enough! I don’t even think he knows which boot goes on which foot, let alone anything else

  • MadMag83

    We need to swap him for another striker, not a defensive midfielder.

  • Rich Lawson

    Goals,Goals,Goals,ffs no more midfielders,1 or 2 proven Prem’ class Goal scorers !!

  • thewildchimp

    Personally, I don’t care if Mitro goes on and scores himself another red card. He’s not playing anyway, so what’s the scare? Not playing your best forward at all because he might pick up a ban is considered ‘brilliant tactics’ and ‘being meticulous’?

    Our team is not sh’te, and we have Rafa to thank for it. Great manager but also extremely stubborn. He who is our greatest asset might become our newest undoing. And if we do go down, we are not coming back this time.

    P.S. We desperately need a #10. Not a striker. Someone who can make things happen in the channels and connect Shelvey and our forwards. I was hoping for Merino to be that guy, but apparently not. For Rafa’s strategy – a proper number ten is crucial. Diame and Perez could do that, but not in the Prem. The first lacks technique, the second strenght and pace. Ironically, Mitro is better at their job then they are.

    • Leazes Ender

      By ‘best forward’ you mean ‘least worse’ right?

      • thewildchimp

        Damon,
        stubborn is not a quality. Persevering, staunch, steadfast, yes, but stubborn no. Obviously his tactics are good. But he doesn’t have the players to pull them off. Sometimes you have to compromise. If it’s about the cards – then why is Shelvey on the pitch?

        Leazes,
        well, yes. :D But Gayle and Mitro are decent players. Why not pair them, with Mitro as the ‘false 9’? Surely it can’t get any worse than Josely-Perez or Gayle-Diame. It’s not that hard to imagine. Shelvey passes direct to Mitro on the counter, he holds it up, squares to Ritchie or Merino, they find Gayle or work around the box now with the whole team beside them or just pop a quick bomb from long range. Options. At least the first two would push the opposition defense more. The instant that Diame or Perez get the ball you know that they are going to screw up and lose it, or just waste too much time. I’d love to see us playing as Real, Barca or Man City – but we have to do best with what we’ve got.

    • Damon Horner

      I never understood the “stubborn” stuff. Most top level managers are, you wouldn’t be a very good manager if you were impressionable.

  • Damon Horner

    Unless Torino plan to sell Belotti then Mitrovic better get ready to sit on an Italian teams bench if this is true.

  • fistsofsteel2

    I’l try not to swear but this is ——- ridiculous. Rafa out.

    • Shields Mag

      And get who exactly to replace Rafa?? Pulis or Joe Kinnear no thanks cos there’s a realistic chance it could happen if Rafa goes……..anything is possible with Ashley…..

      • Buck Blacket

        Don’t feed the troll mate.

  • Andy Mac

    FFS this is a player who’s gone from Palermo to Hoffenheim loaned to Parma then Sampdoria until finally sold to Torino. If this had any legs on it they’d amount to four and called Fido (apologies to Black Adder)

    If youre gonna swap a striker with another club make sure the new player can score goals at least ?.

  • Phil Yare

    exciting times