With now less than two weeks until the January transfer window opens, Newcastle fans are wondering if anything will change this January.
January 2017 saw Rafa Benitez blocked from bringing in any new players, than January 2018 saw Mike Ashley once again not allow any players to be bought in, the Newcastle manager having to make do with only loan deals as he fought relegation.
This time around, it has become clear that Miguel Almiron is Rafa’s number one target but a loan deal won’t hack it.
The Atlanta United President commented on a reported Newcastle loan offer with a potential £15m to be paid to make it permanent next summer, he described the idea of any loan arrangement as laughable and declared it was ‘chump money’ when the £15m valuation was put to him.
Instead the Atlanta United President stated that $30m (£23.7m) would be the minimum they would consider, if Miguel Almiron did leave.
An interesting update on Wednesday from The Guardian, who aren’t usual culprits when it comes to pushing out transfer speculation just for attention.
Their Deputy News Editor, Ed Aarons, has said that his information is that the Atlanta valuation is £23m and that West Ham have shown an interest.
But that it is Newcastle United who are now still in talks with the MLS club to try and land the playmaker.
The Guardian man says that Newcastle have still not made an official bid though for the 24 year old.
Rafa Benitez said at the end of last week that he was still waiting to hear what money, if any, would be available for January signings, and that he was expecting to have a meeting this week where it could be clarified. Potentially setting in motion bids for players.
Since promotion, Rafa Benitez hasn’t been allowed to spend more than £10m on any signing and so it is little wonder that Newcastle fans continue to be sceptical that Ashley may now allow over twice that to be spent on anyone.
Every day that passes without progress news on a takeover, makes supporters also feel hope is fading on the dream double of Mike Ashley leaving and new owners properly supporting Rafa Benitez in the January window.
The Mag – 14 December 2018:
Leaving aside the endless Mike Ashley selling (or not) the club speculation for a second, the January transfer is intensely revolving around Miguel Almiron.
Whilst we are used to false trails on transfers, with this one, it certainly appears that Rafa Benitez wants him, and that the Paraguayan playmaker is January’s number on target.
The desperation for a number 10 with pace and the ability to score and create goals, has been there from day one for Rafa Benitez, but that type of player doesn’t come cheap. Definitely not within the budget Rafa has been allowed so far.
This January window though looks so pivotal for so many reasons, not least Rafa’s future, so could we at last see a breakthrough sign of both ambition and reality at St James Park, when it comes to the transfer market?
Even if a sale of the club did/does eventually go through, it is very unrealistic to think this will be before the January transfer window is done and dusted.
There is always a possibility of an arrangement between any potential new owner(s) and Mike Ashley in advance of the final completion of any club sale, whereby transfers could help to be facilitated. However, whichever way you look at it, Mike Ashley would have to play a key part in making any significant transfers happen.
Miguel Almiron would tick so many boxes if he was signed…an exciting player, one who also has potential still to improve, has pace, creates and scores goals, plus just as importantly would see Newcastle United break out from a 14 year old club transfer record.
So is it likely to happen?
We have had numerous updates from whoever but an interesting one to add to the mix now is Tim Vickery.
He is a long standing expert on South American football and is always worth listening to.
Vickery has now stated ‘Miguel Almiron is now surely on his way to Newcastle’ in the January transfer window.
He is not claiming insider knowledge of the deal but clearly everything he is hearing on the grapevine suggests the deal could well happen.
Tim Vickery is full of praise for the playmaker who he admired when the best player in Argentina playing for Lanus, before quickly adapt to the MLS (has started 65 games (2 off the bench) and has scored 22 goals with 21 assists, involved in 43 goals altogether in his two seasons with Atlanta).
A bit like the sale of NUFC, as Newcastle fans we have been bitten too often to get too expectant about any major signings, but this one is more and more sounding like one of Mike Ashley’s worst own goals if Miguel Almiron doesn’t end up on Tyneside.
I find it laughable when the local north east media talk about Atlanta demanding a ‘huge’ fee for Almiron. In today’s market the £24m Atlanta are said to be asking is just a typical transfer fee these days, Bournemouth and Fulham spent more than that this summer on defensive midfielders, never mind a player like Miguel Almiron who will be expected to score and create goals.
If Newcastle can sell players for ‘huge’ amounts, such as Carroll, Cabaye, Sissoko, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic, surely we should be allowed at least one of our own.
Tim Vickery speaking on Talksport:
“Miguel Almiron is now surely on his way to Newcastle.
“Atlanta have already brought in a replacement with Almiron [expected to be] coming over to Newcastle and there is a real player there.
“If I look into the future of Newcastle United…
“What I love about Almiron is the pace and the left foot and over the last few years he’s added more goals to his game.
‘He is a smashing young player.
“His decision-making in the last third perhaps could be improved a little bit…
“But he is scoring more goals now.
“He has great pace and the left foot is terrific.
“He is the right age  as well, so he is not going to leave it any longer [before moving to the Premier League].
“It was quite a surprise move, being the best player in Argentine football [with Lanus] to the MLS [in February 2017] but it seems to have worked out.
“I hope it comes off for the sake of the Premier League and Miguel Almiron, who I think is a smashing young player.”