Newcastle fans are looking forward to the January transfer window.
Fair to say though that it is more in hope than expectation.
With a net spend budget of only £11.5m after promotion, Rafa Benitez was forced into shopping for bargains, the result being Newcastle have ended up in the bottom three after having to be overly reliant on the likes of £3.5m Javier Manquillo and £5m Joselu.
The potential buyout of the club raised hopes of a more realistic investment in January, to allow the manager to put right some of the problems caused by lack of investment in the summer.
However, any takeover, if it happens, doesn’t look likely in the short-term, certainly not in time to influence this upcoming transfer window.
In fact, I saw the poll of Newcastle fans on this very website, with 77% of them believing no takeover will happen during this season, if indeed it happens at all.
So we are left with the fat controller and what he will make available for Rafa Benitez next month.
Despite this reality, many Newcastle fans seem to be still getting carried with newspaper fairytales of Newcastle ‘competing’ for this and that player more often than not strikers.
Reality is of course that strikers, well ones who can/could score goals, are the most sought after and competed for.
A timely reminder of what we can expect has been given by Craig Hope who covers Newcastle United for The Mail:
‘Benitez knows that the majority of any transfer budget he is afforded by owner Mike Ashley – who remains in talks with Amanda Staveley over the sale of the club – will have to go on loan fees and wages and he wants at least three new signings.’
Once you see claims of Newcastle competing to buy any player in January, I think you need to treat it with the utmost scepticism.
As for talk of competing for £15m, £20m, or even £30m strikers, you surely just have to laugh.
The only players Newcastle could remotely be expected to potentially buy/attract that would be of immediate use in this relegation battle, are experienced players who aren’t getting a game, who would have no resale value and be looking for bigger wages and longer contracts than Mike Ashley is ever going to agree to.
As the report in The Mail says, it is loan signings that Newcastle fans can expect, that is if Mike Ashley allows even them.
The story about loaning Kenedy from Chelsea has resurfaced again, maybe Newcastle will indeed bring the 21 year old left sided player in this time until the end of the season.
That is the level Newcastle will be pitching at.
Sadly, I think even players such as Danny Ings will be out of our league. Newcastle and a number of other Premier League clubs are all regularly linked with a loan deal but if indeed there was interest from Rafa, what chance would he have once it comes down to cash? The likes of Crystal Palace, Swansea, West Brom have all shown in recent times that they understand you have to pay what it takes to stand a chance of survival, that expecting everything on the cheap just will not happen.
I honestly think our best hope does lie in loan deals but even to land them, Mike Ashley would have to accept paying in the short-term top Premier League wages and sizeable loan fees with obviously no chance of being then able to recoup that by selling the player(s).
Good luck to Rafa Benitez when he tries to get Premier League quality players with a handful of Mike Ashley’s magic beans.