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Newcastle United signing 3 loan players on permanent deals would be the most Mike Ashley thing ever

11 months ago

Still no sign of Mike Ashley exiting St James Park.

The Premier League approval process starting 102 days ago but no announcement so far.

Monday morning did bring an official club statement. However, that was to announce that a new extended ‘long-term’ deal had been agreed for FUN88 to continue as shirt sponsors.

Fans and journalists had varying views on whether this was really bad news in terms of the NUFC takeover, or made no difference whatsoever.

However, nobody was claiming it as a positive, Newcastle United continuing with a betting sponsor towards the lower end of the Premier League money generating spectrum.

The weekend had brought a media exclusive as to Newcastle’s summer transfer budget. The Mirror claiming their inside information was that Mike Ashley had assured Steve Bruce he would be allowed net spending of £50m if he remained as owner. However, the report said that now Steve Bruce understood the budget would now be significantly lower than that, with Ashley blaming the impact of the virus situation.

The weekend also saw Steve Bruce asked whether he wanted to sign Newcastle’s three loan players on permanent deals this summer:

“We have to have negotiations with their clubs to see where they are at.

“What they want and the rest of it [to make the signings permanent].

“We have to realise that these three loan players belong to other people.

“I don’t think we will have everything sorted by next week [in terms of permanent deals agreed].

“We will see what the demands are.

“I have an idea in my own mind [about the possibility of signing any or all of these loan players] but it doesn’t always turn out how you want.

“There are some big meetings over the next week and into the summer.”

Valentino Lazaro, Danny Rose and Nabil Bentaleb are the three players in question.

It has been made quite clear that their respective clubs are all desperate to sell the loan trio, with Inter Milan, Tottenham and Schalke very keen to free up wages and generate extra transfer funds via these unwanted players.

In the six months that they have been at Newcastle United, the trio have been given varying amounts of time on the pitch in the Premier League:

Danny Rose – 701 minutes and 8 starts

Valentino Lazaro – 380 minutes and 3 starts

Nabil Bentaleb – 610 minutes and 6 starts

Quite bizarre to see Steve Bruce saying: ‘We have to have negotiations with their clubs to see where they are at. We have to realise that these three loan players belong to other people. We will see what the demands are.’

Well plenty was made of the fact in January that Bentaleb and Lazaro were loans with a view to buy, with transfer fees agreed as part of the loan arrangements.

So just like for example when Newcastle bought Atsu and then Dubravka on similar loan to buy deals, what big issues would need sorting with the selling clubs?

Unless of course…

It would be the most Mike Ashley thing ever, if Newcastle United signed these loan players on permanent deals, only because Ashley thought he could get them far cheaper than originally agreed because they had played so poorly for NUFC!

Nabil Bentaleb has been woeful on loan and after looking a pointless signing in January, has followed that up with performances to match.

As for Valentino Lazaro, Steve Bruce has given him next to no chance, showing how little he thinks of him. Lazaro was played out of position at right-back against Arsenal and Palace, then his only other PL start was in a weakened team at Man City, once again spending pretty much all of his time defending in the 5-0 trouncing.

As for Danny Rose, no permanent deal price agreed in advance with Spurs, but whatever made him an England player looks well gone now. The 30 year old has shown a little more than the other two loan players but nowhere near as good as Jetro Willems, with Paul Dummett also a far better defender than Rose based on what we have seen.

Unless the NUFC takeover happens very soon, there will be serious worries about summer recruitment.

Signing any or all of this loan trio would really have the alarm bells ringing.


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