I was expecting this to be a tough January transfer window to get through.

We should be hardened to it by now as Newcastle fans but it is the hope that kills you.

Player after player linked and even though the Mike Ashley years have taught you not to hope for anything positive, you can’t help but sometimes forgetting yourself.

The scene was already set for this particular January transfer window with Rafa Benitez feeling that he had no choice to go public in December, saying he hoped/expected that the money which was promised but not spent in the summer, would be available as a starting point to his budget this month.

Now six days in and the signs are anything but good, with Rafa yesterday stating that he still doesn’t know what money, if anything, he has to spend.

So we appear to be hoping for loan deals, though even they cost money so I’m not holding my breath.

The likely lack of cash for Rafa Benitez to spend, has not stopped the newspapers launching story after story, linking Newcastle with potential signing after potential signing.

Maybe though the very worst January transfer window story has now just been published, with still some 25 days left to go.

No surprise to see it is The Mirror carrying it…

‘Rafa Benitez is keen on doing a deal for Joe Hart this month.

The Newcastle boss was interested in signing the England keeper last summer but was beaten to him by West Ham.

But now Hart has lost his place to Spanish keeper Adrian at West Ham, Newcastle have made discreet enquiries again to see if they could get him now.

It would take West Ham, Hart’s parent club Manchester City and the 30-year-old keeper to agree to end his current loan to make it happen.

But Hart is on £120,000-a-week, despite West Ham paying a loan fee, it is a big chunk of West Ham’s wage bill and it remains to be seen whether they would think about letting him go.

Hart will be concerned that if he is not playing then he will lose his England place for next summer’s World Cup.

Newcastle are in the middle of takeover plans but Benitez is likely to be given funds to spend in January to ensure they do not go down.’

It is no secret that Rafa Benitez is desperate to bring in a new first choice goalkeeper, Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow are two honest keepers who do their best but are basically Championship level, able to have small runs of decent performances but not the consistency to be a Premier League number one.

However, it would be just a little bit amazing if Rafa was to see the solution as being to bring in the goalkeeper who has been the worst one in the Premier League this season. Only Stoke have conceded more than the Hammers.

You may have given Joe Hart the benefit of the doubt back then (in the summer), he had a horrific time at Torino as they conceded a massive 66 goals in 38 Serie A games. Hart played 36 of the 38 matches and only one other club who wasn’t relegated conceded more than Hart/Torino.

Joe Hart has leaked 30 goals in just 14 Premier League matches this season, without him West Ham have only conceded 10 goals in the other eight games.

The Newcastle manager may well have taken the Man City keeper back in the summer but with Hart’s confidence now truly shot, there is zero chance of this deal happening.



  • Tony Mann

    Quote ‘ and now Hart has lost his place to Adrian ‘…. the reason for that being he’s garbage – certainly no better than what we have already and on £120k a week !!!!

  • ghostrider

    Seriously, if Rafa brings Joe Hart in then he’s literally taking the pee.
    It could very easily be speculation to utter borlicks and it better be because Joe Hart is not a better keeper than what we have already.

    Over 100 grand a week?
    I don’t think an y fan would be happy with that.
    The keeper issue isn’t the problem we have. The playmaker and striker problem is the key issue as it stands.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Actually not seriously,you’re a one who’s more than happy to believe any bsht story from the press to have a pop at Benitez,why don’t you wait and see who actually dots the “i’s” and crosses the “t’s”,if in fact Ashley and Penfold are able, and willing,to get a signing”over the line”.
      It wouldn’t be a surprise if we signed nobody.

      • Mark Potter

        It would be a surprise. It should be “business as usual” at the club, even if the sale is imminent.

        There was money left over in Rafa’s budget in the summer, then money received since from previous sales, TV money and match receipts. And whatever he can raise from sales of Colback, Mitro and potentially a few others. Specifically in this case, from selling either Elliott or Darlow. We have a full squad of 25 over 21s, we can’t add anyone to the squad without selling or loaning out an existing squad member. And Colback is not a squad member, so his sale brings in money, but doesn’t free any space to bring someone else in.

        I think it is highly unlikely that the only player who will leave is Colback. Therefore replacements can, and will, come in. Whether they are good replacements needs to be seen. But with only one January over recent years where no-one came in (and that was unusual circumstances that don’t apply this time round), there is no good reason to be so pessimistic. We have had many January windows where fans said exactly this, then new players arrived. Some bad (De Jong), some brilliant (Cisse).

        • Mal

          I know it’s hard to believe but I think Colback is in our 25 man squad.

  • Desree

    Kevin Keegan calls him chocolate wrists.

  • Paul Patterson

    Every transfer should be judged on one thing and one thing only- Is he better than what we’ve got? Answer- No and that’s before £120k a week comes into the conversation . .

  • S.G.M.

    Who would spend money on a new set of tyres for a car that’s on its way to “We Buy Any Car. Com” for an agreed price?
    Secondly, if Joe Hart is what were spending money on, lets hope Ashley keeps it.

    • Kneebotherm8

      If,and it’s a big if,we’re willing to pay any player 120k a week then that player needs to be a top striker,not a has been goalkeeper past his sell by date.
      The headline is right,the story is a load of tosh.

  • Geordiegiants

    No chance he is signing for us, no chance!

  • Shipcote Willy

    Doubt Rafa wants to sign Hart and his wages are totally unrealistic. He did want Adrian apparently but rumour was the club blocked it as too expensive. I don’t believe we will sign anyone and consequently won’t be disappointed when this happens, despite all the ludicrous links with players in the media.

  • Rich Lawson

    Hart has been dropped with good reason,ffs give Freddie Woodman a game today and don’t let Ashley flog him for a pittance in the window and watch him become England’s No1 in a couple of seasons.

    • Mark Potter

      Why would he flog him now? They probably couldn’t replace him. Certainly not with Hart, and other players mentioned, because of their age. Better to keep Woodman, he might go for £20m once he’s proved himself at Prem level.

      • Rich Lawson

        I don’t want to sell him at all.He would flog him now because hopefully he wont be the owner in 2 years time to pocket the cash then ?

  • Antenociticus

    How can I get a job for the Mirror?
    I can make stuff up, joining a few facts together and come up with ludicrous stories.
    Gizzajob !

    • Kneebotherm8

      A creative imagination is a must.
      An ability to fill up blank spaces in the sports section,irrespective of any basis in fact,is another essential.
      Satisfy these two criteria,and the job’s yours.

    • Phil Yare

      me too. I actually encounter folk who’s football knowledge is taken strictly from the daily mirror.

  • MadMag83

    Hart is Championship level now

  • Phil Yare

    sissoko is available.