According to an exclusive on Sunday morning, Josh King is the top priority signing Rafa Benitez wants to make this summer.

The 26 year old scored 16 goals and got two assists last season, by far his best year in professional football.

First choice again for Bournemouth this season, the Norwegian international has not bothered the scorers quite as much this time, scoring six goals and adding another three assists in the Premier League.

In fact, in 20 PL appearance before February, Josh King only scored twice, before running into better form when adding another four goals in his next 10 games.

Rafa Benitez has made no secret that he wants a new first choice striker to up the quality but was thwarted by Mike Ashley last summer, only allowed to spend £5m on Stoke reserve Joselu as a squad player to replace the departed Daryl Murphy, although Joselu ended up being first choice up until the last few months.

Josh King has been previously linked with Newcastle a number of times but until last season, he had only managed 14 league goals in his career.

This time it is The Sun running the ‘exclusive’:

‘KING TOPS RAFA LIST Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez eyeing up Bournemouth striker Josh King.

NEWCASTLE boss Rafa Benitez wants a new No9 – and Bournemouth’s Josh King is top of his targets.

Benitez hopes to get the go ahead from Mike Ashley to invest in players and £20 million-rated King is a priority.’

Rafa has shown he is more than ready to make brave decisions and often not the most obvious ones.

In his short time at Newcastle he has already dropped the likes of Wijnaldum, Shelvey and his captain Jamaal Lascelles, whilst in January loan players Kenedy and Dubravka came in and were instantly thrown into action. They have been massive unexpected successes but Benitez would have copped for major criticism if things had gone wrong.

Josh King being a £20m top priority striker signing after only six goals and three assists this season would be a major surprise, especially when you see the criticism aimed at Dwight Gayle with five goals and three assists, having played around nine hours of PL football less than the Bournemouth striker.

As to exactly which striker would be the right one within Newcastle’s reach and budget is the…£20m (or whatever) question.

Islam Slimani showed some good moments as a sub against Arsenal but he turns 30 this summer, would probably cost £15m-£20m and is struggling to stay fit, so whatever forward is signed, you have to think it will come with risks/downsides – whether it is age, lack of a real proven record (such as Josh King), and/or injury concerns.



  • Paul Patterson

    No better than the best we’ve got, although an improvement on Joselu . .

    • Jezza

      Never going to happen anyway, not unless we can get him on loan.

  • Albert Stubbins

    I’d be amazed if this was true. We need better than Josh king no disrespect intended.

    • Peaky

      Absolutely….if this is the level we are looking at it appears Fatso & Rafa have already had their “talks”…

  • Sean Lynch

    Exclusive – fake news written by journos and hacks, as a means to increase sales when no story exists.
    Name enough players and eventually 1 picked will actually prove to be a target.
    The only occasion interest in a player can be confirmed, is when they arrive for a medical or when Rafa says they tried to do a deal.
    Seems silly season has begun before the actual season ends. Let’s see if they manage to beat last year’s record of in excess of 300 expected deals! lol

  • robbersdog

    It now seems likely that there’s no takeover on the horizon, and we’re stuck with Ashley and minimal investment in the squad for the foreseeable future.

    That being the case, King would be a decent signing, although I won’t be peeing myself with excitement if it happens.

    • Ram Kishore

      There could be a possibility Ashley might spend more this season with more money coming in and .Rafa being public with his intentions.. This is imho will be Ashley’s last chance

      • Leazes.

        haha…

      • Jezza

        Ashley has already had his last chance with Rafa. Rafa has been shafted in all four transfer windows since he came to our club, there won’t be a fifth.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The silly season has started already, treat these articles with the same contempt the Pie Man treats Newcastle Utd.
    All this talk of 40 or 50 to £60m is pure fantasy.
    🐷🐷🐷

    • Weyhhadaway

      If you added up how much was supposed to be spent in the last five years against what was spent then handed it to Rafa along with this years TV money we would have a good window. I actually thought for a split second that might happen, better check my meds I might have double dosed. Maybe if someone asked those questions of the club though that would be real journalism.

    • Jezza

      Even £4 or £5 or £6 million is pure fantasy. It’s strictly loan deals from now on.

      • Loan deals give you much better players than 5m buys. Proven this season.

        • Jezza

          Well that’s certainly the way Ashley will be thinking. As far as he is concerned the January window was a triumph. We got the players to enable us to avoid relegation without paying any transfer fees or adding any long term expensive contracts to the wage bill. He will be thinking that this is the way ahead from now on.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            so you don’t think the January window was good?

        • Jezza

          The thing is a club in our position shouldn’t be looking at either loan deals or £5 million Pound buys. We should be aiming much higher than that.

          • Weyhhadaway

            Jezza, we are not in the position you think we are. We should be but we just plain aren’t due the way the club is run.

          • Jezza

            What I meant by a club in our position is simply a Premiership club benefitting from the biggest television deal in history. NUFC are now raking in more money than at any time in the club’s history yet here we are talking about bargain basement singnings and loan deals for players who can’t get a game for our competitors. We should be competing financially at the very least with the likes of Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Watford and Bournemouth but because of our greedy owner pocketing every last penny of the profits we aren’t.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        I bet we spend more than £15m, go on, £10 for charity but you can bleeding well pay up this time.

  • Weyhhadaway

    It is all paper talk, Rafa is too smart to run his mouth about who he wants, yes the players agent might leak it to get counter bids, or be trying to drum up interest but hey ho. I can’t see us putting out 20m for this guy. Look at his record, but it does highlight how the prices have gone stupid with everyone trying to get their hands on the Golden Fleece of TV money.

    • Leazes.

      Yes we have a one man ‘board’ in Charnley who doesn’t speak to the press or anyone come to that as he’s cancelled Fans liaison meetings, and an owner who never speaks to the press… so where are the stories coming from and more importantly why are they being repeated.

      • Weyhhadaway

        Simple on the repeat question, column space has to be filled to get clicks and hey look, it worked, we are here clicking away.

        • Leazes.

          Aye… I should have said nothing, I always find the comments section much more informative than the articles anyway as they don’t do any homework on the players and presume everyone is an armchair soccer quiz wizard and leave it up to me to tell everyone he’s valued at £7m, and why would we be after a player who isn’t as highly rated as the rubbish Mitrovic.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            thing is all our strikers are rubbish

    • Jezza

      It doesn’t matter which players Rafa wants because Ashley and Charnley will never deliver and they wouldn’t pay £20 million for either Kane or Aguero never mind Josh King.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Rafa, what`s this rumour about you wanting Josh King ? QUE !

    • Weyhhadaway

      QTF!

  • molend

    At the risk of irking (!) some people on here, why would we buy King when we already have Mitrovic?

    • Weyhhadaway

      What is this sorcery you speak of? Burn the witch! Burn the witch! Burn the witch!

      • molend

        Sorry, bonny lad, you’ve got me there. I know ‘to irk’ only as a synonym of ‘to annoy’. Am I missing something? Remember it’s dinner time where I am so I’m not entirely compos mentis.

        • Weyhhadaway

          Just the Crackin on mate. Mitro was told to go to Fulham and score goals. He has, over to you Rafa.

    • Clarko

      So by that “logic” we shouldn’t buy anyone in the summer because we already have a full team of players?

      Dummy!

      • molend

        What a strange comment. I merely expressed an opinion regarding King and Mitrovic.

        • Clarko

          You didn’t express an opinion, you asked an incredibly stupid question, I applied your illogical, dumb question to include the whole squad in order to demonstrate just how stupid your question was.

          Dummy.

          • molend

            Does the term ‘rhetorical question’ mean anything to you?

          • Clarko

            1) Do you know what a rhetorical question is?

            2) You do realise that I used a rhetorical question right? In my first reply? No?

            3) What does this have to do with anything?

          • molend

            Well, it clearly isn’t 1)
            2) A rhetorical question is a way of making a positive statement. Therefore I was saying: ‘I don’t think we should buy King when we have already have Mitrovic’.

          • Clarko

            No it is rhetorical question.

            “So by that “logic” we shouldn’t buy anyone in the summer because we already have a full team of players?”

            Equals:

            Of course we’re going to buy players (King) because that’s how you improve the team you complete f*****g moron.

          • molend

            Ab irato

          • Clarko

            Shocked is the word/phrase I would use, I’m shocked by your stupidity. However, I am not shocked to find that you have nothing more to say.

          • molend

            Proverbs 26, 4

          • Clarko

            “I lost the argument, I’ve been made to look stupid, I know, I’ll just start quoting the bible and copying phrases that I found on latinfordummiesdotcom, that will work”

            😂 😂 😂

          • molend

            I’m sorry you feel that way.

          • Jezza

            Don’t feed the troll, marra. Just block him.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You clearly haven’t blocked him you utter idiot.

          • Billmag

            Please don’t apologize to that dipstick.

          • molend

            Aye, but I suspect that if you sat him down with a pint and got beyond the effing and blinding he might not be a bad lad.

        • Jezza

          He twists everything and goes off at unrelated tangents to the subject under discussion just to wind up Newcastle fans and provoke a reaction. Don’t feed the troll.

    • Paul Patterson

      King is far more mobile and does the job that Rafa wants his strikers to do. Mitrovic doesn’t. I still wouldn’t fancy signing him on his goals record, at least not for £20m

      • molend

        Did you see the march against Millwall? No problem with mobility. I’m not arguing in favour of keeping him. All I’m saying is a) he’s not useless; b) if we replace him, it should be with somebody better

        • Paul Patterson

          Can’t say I did. I would scrap Mitrovic, Joselu, not take the risk on Slimani and have Gayle as our sub striker and use the money on the replacement. We also need to keep hold of Kenedy.

          • molend

            That sounds pretty reasonable

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          We sell Mitro for say £20m, there`s no way Fatso will pay that to replace him

          • Jezza

            Correct, Mitro’s replacement will be another loan.

          • Or 10m bargain buy.

          • Jezza

            Even a £10 million striker in this inflated transfer market is a pipe dream under Ashley these days. Our striker budget last summer was only £5 million and we won’t even get that this summer.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Mobility`s fine, but does he score goals ?
        the answer to that is, not enough

    • thewildchimp

      We would buy him (or Slimani), because we have probably lost Mitrovic… But this “bid for King” originates from The Sun, so…

  • Rich Lawson

    Why would we want him,it’s almost as though you make this stuff up Graham ? I am encouraged by Slimani’s brief showings and I want to see how he does in the last few games.I don’t think Leicester want to keep him if Vardy stays and I think we could get him for £10 – 15mil’.Don’t care about his age if he can bang double figures in for a couple of seasons in the Prem’ and be a holding/assists centre forward it would make a huge difference.

  • Mike D

    If a six goal striker is worth £20 mil we stand to make a reasonable profit on Joselu then… right?

  • TheNutJob

    If Fatty`s still here next season half the squad will be on loan, forget the tv money that will disappear

  • Awaymag

    And it begins…….

  • Damon Horner

    Sure Clarko will correct me if I’m wrong but has he not been in a deeper position this year compared to last year? Explains the goals record difference. His pace and mobility will suit Rafa’s style in my view

  • Guest 2

    He done well last season. But he hasn’t done that before nor is looking close to doing it again.
    Page filler piece, and somewhat similar to what Dr Ed does on the other toon site – regurgitate meaningless and unsubstantiated articles.

  • PhilK

    So Bournemouth using the rags to get rid of a striker they don’t particularly want and think they can get more than he’s worth

  • 1ewis

    How do you break the transfer record when you have no clue of the transfer budget? How do you even target players when you don’t have a clue. Bullshit.