The Mail and the Northern Echo both suggest, although more than likely from the same source, that Shane Long could be the subject of a £5 million bid from Newcastle should Kevin Gameiro delay any decision on a move any longer.
As mentioned in the last article, we are the only team that has had a bid accepted for the Lorient frontman so in that sense we are in the driving seat. However it does appear that Gameiro is playing a waiting game and is willing to see if either of his preferred teams – Valencia, PSG, or anyone apart from us – is willing to make a move for him.
Step forward Shane Long who is apparently next in line to court some NUFC interest. The 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international had his best ever goalscoring season last term as he set about bagging 25 goals in 50 appearances for failed play-off finalists Reading.
That is a good return in fairness, although the question is whether or not he was just a one season wonder given the fact that the last campaign was the only time he has hit double figures in a season. In fairness however it’s the first season that he has been first choice striker as previously he has had to sit behind Kevin Doyle and Dave Kitson who were both prolific for Reading.
Long has picked up 19 caps for the Republic of Ireland and has scored 6 goals at international level. He is expected to be on the bench for their game tonight against Mecedonia given that Robbie Keane has declared himself fit to play on despite carrying an injury.
It’s not the first time we’ve been linked with Long, and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. Brian McDermott, who looks like George Dawes off of Shooting Stars, obviously wants to keep him, but it would appear that his chairman, John Madejski of Auto Trader fame, has given up hope of keeping Long in Berkshire amid rumours linking the striker with a move to Celtic.
“I’m aware of interest in Shane Long,” said Madjeski. “How confident am I we can ward off that interest? Not very.”
“It’s sad we didn’t get promoted because Shane would have liked to stay if we had reached the Premier League, but that has changed because we will be in the Championship.”
“What value would I place on him? £20m. I don’t know if he will end up at Celtic, but what is certain is that he will not be at Reading next season.”
So there you go. I think that is about as resigned to losing a player as you’ll ever get!
Is there any truth in this? Well it’s just like all of the rumours at the moment isn’t it? Liberal sprinklings of salt needed. However, if their is a hint of truth in this is does at least mean that Newcastle are making some form of contingency in the event of our main targets failing to materialise.
What do you make of Shane Long? Personally I think he is worth a shot, but not as our main striker. He is nippy, physical and will run all day for the team. He can score goals in the Championship, lots of them as proved last season, but can he make the step up to the Premier League?
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