Newcastle can’t afford to compete with Brentford for top target – Let the good times roll…
Thursday has brought news that Brentford have agreed a deal to buy Kristoffer Ajer.
The central defender was repeatedly said to be Newcastle’s number one target this transfer window, likely to be the only buy amongst a few more free transfers and / or loans.
However, with Newcastle United anticipating that they’d land the Norwegian international for £8m due to him having only a year left on his contract and Ajer stating he would definitely leave Celtic this summer, once promoted Norwich had a £10m offer rejected by the Glasgow club, NUFC dropped out of the race (if you could call it that from NUFC’s point of view!).
Now fellow promoted club Brentford have succeeded where Norwich (and Newcastle…) failed, the West London club having agreed a £13.5m deal according to both the Northern Echo and The Telegraph, with the latter’s John Percy saying both fee and structure of payments has been agreed between the two clubs.
The Northern Echo say that ‘Steve Bruce had identified Ajer as his leading defensive target at the start of the summer, with Magpies officials holding a series of discussions with their counterparts at Celtic’…only for Mike Ashley to refuse to pay the asking price when it came down to it.
With Mike Ashley allowing a summer transfer budget of somewhere between zero and £10m. The host of new contracts handed to existing players in recent times, certainly appears to suggest that we are facing another relegation fight with the same players, though now it is a rapidly ageing squad due to a failure to properly invest, with as things stand at least half the first team squad to be in their 30s by the time the 2021/22 season ends.
The basic plan yet again seems to be to hope that there will be three clubs as feeble as Fulham, Sheffield United and West Brom were last season. However, all three promoted clubs are strengthening their teams / squads this summer, whilst Newcastle stand by and hope for the best.
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