Sky Sports, amongst others, confirmed on Tuesday evening the loan move of Kenedy from Chelsea to Newcastle United.
After two transfer windows where Mike Ashley has badly undermined Rafa Benitez, it has taken 23 days into this January one for even a loan signing of a 21 year old Chelsea squad player to happen. This loan signing first reported over six months ago.
This was despite Rafa Benitez stating in December that he needed all signings to made ideally by 15 January and at the very latest, 20 January.
Sky Sports are seen by most Newcastle fans to be far too close to Mike Ashley and have accommodated a number of embarrassing ‘interviews’ with the Newcastle United owner, allowing him to make outrageous statements on his running of the club without being in any way properly challenged.
Little wonder that Sky Sports journalist, and Newcastle fan, Pete Graves, finds himself stuck in the middle.
Clearly the media had been briefed by somebody connected to Mike Ashley/Newcastle United when putting out positive messages in the last 24/48 hours, claiming that now the NUFC owner was going to ‘splash the cash’ and be supporting Rafa Benitez, with in particular claims of the club being set to buy a striker for £20m who would create a new club transfer record.
These reports were carried by Sky Sports and Pete Graves was one of the most enthusiastic in reporting claims of signing this mysterious £20m striker.
For most Newcastle fans, it was a case of heard it all before from the club (Mike Ashley) and the media willing to carry his message, with it seen as the usual PR nonsense put out to deflect criticism. With no belief that anything other than Kenedy and maybe another cheap loan signing will arrive.
Sure enough, Sky Sports’ Pete Graves has gone from the deal on the verge of happening this morning: ‘Told the fee is £20m, but club determined to keep it quiet till it’s done, to avoid added competition.’ to “Next on the list is a striker…but hearing tonight it’s been a frustrating day…Work to do.’
Is there really anybody out there who honestly believes Mike Ashley is seriously going to back Rafa Benitez with a £20m striker this month???
Pete Graves may well be simply repeating what he has been told by the Ashley PR machine but does even he actually believe it?
Pete Graves (Sunday 21 January):
“I’m hearing some very positive vibes (on January signings) yeah.
“But I’ve heard them before.
“I’ve said all along, they simply HAVE to give Rafa significant financial support.”
Pete Graves (Tuesday 22 January – Morning):
“All Newcastle fans want to know the identity of this striker target, but it’s a sensitive situation.
“Told the fee is £20m, but club determined to keep it quiet till it’s done, to avoid added competition. Meanwhile awaiting Kenedy announcement. Straight loan.”
Pete Graves (Tuesday 22 January – Evening):
“Kenedy signs for Newcastle on loan.
“Next on the list is a striker and a goalkeeper…. but hearing tonight it’s been a frustrating day on both fronts.
“Work to do.”