As Newcastle fans wait with fading hopes of Mike Ashley allowing Rafa Benitez to bring in any signings this month, a bizarre transfer exclusive has appeared.
It is claimed that Newcastle are willing to pay £10m to land Pepe Reina.
This story is ludicrous on so many levels.
I can’t see Mike Ashley allowing £10m to be spent on anybody, let alone a player who turns 36 in August.
Obviously Rafa Benitez was heavily linked with his former goalkeeper in the summer but Ashley put the block on his manager signing any experienced keeper on big wages, even though the Newcastle manager was desperate for a new number one.
His fears have proved correct as Rafa has been forced to drop both Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow this season, as they have predictably shown themselves not to be Premier League number ones.
At the Napoli end the story makes absolutely no sense either. Back in the summer there was no guarantee of Pepe Reina being their first choice keeper but that’s all changed.
It is 28 years since they last won the league and this season looks by far their best chance in a long time.
Napoli top the lead by one point from Juventus and they are nine clear of Inter Milan in third.
Pepe Reina has been first choice in both the Champions League and Serie A, starting 19 of the 20 league matches.
Quite why he would fancy a relegation struggle instead of possibly winning the Serie A title (and in the 32 of the Europa League), is anybody’s guess.
The transfer claims in The Sun also claim that Mike Ashley is also willing to allow a loan striker to come in this month, with wages of £100,000 a week set aside to land the right one.
They claim that sources have said Newcastle have only a 10% of landing Danny Ings on loan and that David Moyes has no interest at all in a Chancel Mbemba swap for his striker Diafra Sakho, a story that ran on Saturday.
Newcastle are now into the 14th day of the transfer window and in December Rafa Benitez said ideally he wanted all signings to be in by 15 January (tomorrow!), or 20 January by the very latest.
Yesterday’s poor display against rock bottom Swansea once again exposed the lack of quality, with the need for more star quality up front especially clear.