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Newcastle United making record bids for transfer targets…only for the money to magically disappear afterwards

1 year ago
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Pardon my scepticism for a moment but haven’t we heard this all before? I don’t see why this should be any different now. Newcastle United have made a £27 million bid for a centre forward on season ticket renewal day! Imagine my surprise.

This summer is probably the first time in which I have treated all news with complete and utter scepticism. In the past, I have held that deep down feeling that ‘maybe this is it’, perhaps Mike Ashley has finally woken and smelt the coffee (whilst still maintaining face). Now, it amazes me the amount of people who are getting excited that Newcastle might sign this ‘Plea’ guy from Nice.

I must say, I have never seen him play before. A keen follower of French Football and Lyon, I was surprised to see that Plea was doing well in Ligue 1 as he failed to impress during his short time at Lyon as a youth. I quickly messaged a few of my friends in Lyon (a mixture of Saint Etienne and Lyon fans) to get the low down on him from those who watch Ligue 1 every week. The responses I got were all along the same lines of “could be an ok signing, but had one good season with Nice last year who are turning into a very good team”. For reference, Plea scored 16 league goals last season, while Thauvin knocked up 22.

There has also been a lot of talk about selling Matt Ritchie to Stoke, a deal which at the moment looks like it is going ahead. Even if we were to sell Ritchie for lets say 12 million, and bring in Townsend and Kenedy for their reported/claimed valuations totaling (43 million). Doesn’t that mean Rafa will have spent around 31 million of his apparently very tight transfer budget, putting the squad in an almost identical position to that of last season? The same amount of wingers, just swapping Townsend for Ritchie. It doesn’t sound like good business to me.

Is Townsend an upgrade on Ritchie? I don’t know. I actually don’t think so. As a footballer, yes he is a better player, I don’t think anyone would argue otherwise. Yet, over the course of a season, in a team that has a defensive mindset, and is likely to be fighting to get out of the bottom six rather than getting into the top six, I would prefer Matt Ritchie. I would like us to keep Ritchie, and sign Townsend & Kenedy, that would actually improve the squad.

Either way, until something does happen, I actually have no idea why any Newcastle fans are believing it. I mean, wake up and smell the Keith Bishop. Pardon me if I have missed any obvious ones as these transfer ‘bids’ are just off the top of my head;

Alexandre Lacazette

According to the Chronicle at the time, Newcastle could have had Lacazette for as cheap as £16 million but Newcastle didn’t want to pay the money for him.

Instead, Newcastle opted for the cheaper option, Emmanuel Riviere.

We apparently went in for him again a few Januarys later with a £19 million bid but instead ended up with Seydou Doumbia on loan. He is now scoring goals for Arsenal, alongside another guy who may get a mention later.

Saido Berahino

We were involved in a late deadline day battle for Berahino apparently, with the club making a bid of £18 million for the player. This one was almost certainly a PR stunt from Bishop and co. Even at the time, it seemed so unrealistic but Sky Sports lapped it up.

Berahino now a complete waste of space at Stoke.

Nicolai Jorgensen

Newcastle looked nailed on to sign Jorgensen in January but wouldn’t pay the asking price of £22 million after having a £15 million bid rejected.

We instead signed Islam Slimani on loan.

**Disclaimer, I saw all of Denmark’s games at this World Cup, and I’m sure that most would agree with me that every time Jorgensen took to the pitch he didn’t look a £5 million centre forward never mind £22 million!

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Another one from France who Newcastle apparently came very close signing. Perhaps this was one of the occasions where the club did stump up the money for a player, but he chose to go to Borussia Dortmund instead.

Or was it a case of the club making a bid for a player they knew they had no chance in getting? He did sign for Champions League finalists instead. Now partnering Lacazette upfront for Arsenal.

Luka Modric

The most famous one of all. I don’t think I need to explain this one. An example all the more fitting given that he is my player of the World Cup so far (irrespective of that late penalty miss Sunday night).

Clement Grenier

Reported by several outlets, including Sky and the BBC at the time, that Newcastle had a £11 million bid rejected by Lyon after selling Yohan Cabaye for £20 million. At a time when Newcastle were doing ok in the league, our failure to replace Cabaye straight away almost relegated us, and in my opinion, those 5 months were the main instigator behind Pardew’s relationship with the fans declining rapidly (as well as the fact that he is a knob).

Another case of Newcastle not willing to pay the asking price. Rumored that he is now available for as little as 3 million after suffering from a torrid time with injuries.

Bas Dost

The one that never seems to go away. However, at one point, Bas Dost was a serious option for Newcastle. Portuguese press once reported Newcastle were offering up to 40 million euros for the player.

Will forever be linked with Newcastle United.

Bafetimbi Gomis

Newcastle weren’t willing to pay the 7 million wanted for him… and thus looked at the option to take him on loan later in the window. It was also claimed by Gomis that the deal fell through because of agent fees and loyalty. We will never know.

Anyone else know what he is up to now?

Kevin Gameiro

£10 million bid was rejected way back during his time at Lorient.

Charlie Austin

The British Bas Dost who was forever linked with a move to NUFC.

Most heavily linked during Steve McClaren’s sole summer in charge, Newcastle first weren’t willing to stump up the fee, then weren’t willing to pay the wages, then were worried about his fitness.

A transfer that never made sense.

Alassane Plea (pictured above)

According to the ever ‘reliable’ Sky Sports Newcastle have bid £27 million for Plea… although, whatever happened to that Amanda Staveley woman they told us about?

Laughable the way the Chronicle are pressing ahead with this idea that Newcastle fans should be jumping for joy because Newcastle have made a ‘cash bid’:

Tweet from Lee Ryder read; “Mixed News: NUFC understood to have had bid for Nice striker Alassane Plea rejected. But this at least means they are now back in the business of cash bids after first offer this summer”

Is that what we have resorted to? Is that the standard? Newcastle United making a bid for a footballer, with actual money, is seen as progress. I do weep.

Its funny how, as with the examples noted, Newcastle seem to amazingly have the money available when they have made a bid for players, yet when they are ‘rejected’, the money magically disappears never to be seen again. Newcastle have been making club record bids for 7 years now, without ever breaking their transfer record. It is almost as if it was never intended to be used in the first place.

Maybe we will spend some money, Chris Holt is pretty adamant that we will reach a net spend of 70 million. I don’t think that we will. Even if we do, as Chris argues, the amount of money we spend isn’t exactly the point… it’s the policy, the haggling over a few million, subsiding quality for the sake of a few million quid, is the manager even the one making the signings, are the signings even real? Did Newcastle ever have any intention of bringing in some of the strikers mentioned, or was it a Keith Bishop PR stunt to keep fans content and ticking over?

I may be proved wrong, but for those fans out there who think the club are seriously trying to improve the squad, I would ask… where have you been for the last 10 years?

Honorable Mentions;Wilfried Bony, Andy Carroll, Pierre Michel Lasogga, Danny Ings, Moussa Sow, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Mevlut Erdinc, Diego Rolan, Michy Batshuayi, Loic Remy, Vincent Aboubakar, Ryad Boudebouz, Tammy Abraham

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn
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