It seems as though our pursuit of a left-back to replace Jose Enrique is proving more difficult that had first been thought.
This comes as news emerged that Erik Pieters is scheduled to take part in PSV Eindhoven’s Europe League tie in Austria on Thursday evening.
Talks have been ongoing for a few days now between the two sides and whilst a deal is ultimately not dead it would be unlikely that we will have anyone signed in time for the Saturday lunchtime clash against the rotters from down the road. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t particularly want to see Ryan Taylor on derby day. In fact Alan Pardew said much the same thing earlier on in the week when he reiterated his hope that he would be able to leave the “set piece specialist” out as he would have dedicated left-back to call upon.
Apparently it would take a fee of around £6 million for PSV to agree to a deal, and it would take wages of around £30,000-a-week for the player to agree to come. Personally I don’t see the problem. The Jose Enrique replacement effectively pays for himself with the money brought in from the sale of the Spaniard to Liverpool last week, and isn’t that the way we seem to do things nowadays?
No matter as apparently there is an alternative. Step forward Wayne Bridge who has once again been linked with a loan move from Manchester City to St James’ Park. Now I really can’t see this one coming off for details which I will go into below, but most imprtantly I’m glad it’s not going to happen as, quite frankly, Wayne Bridge is not what he used to be. If he ever used to be anything of course, apart from English and consequently over-rated.
So why won’t it happen I hear you say? Well, quite simply, money.
There would be absolutely no point in plumping for Bridge over Pieters. Apparently it would take a fee of £2 million to secure a loan deal for the ex-England player, with wages of £50,000-a-week to boot. Roughly adding that up it equates to £4.6 million to be left in exactly the same position we find ourselves in now next season. It’s a waste of money, and that doesn’t sound like Newcastle to me.
On the other hand we have Pieters who, at just 23, would give us a long term so
lution to the left-back issue. He can improve and develop on Tyneside and he fits in with the “plan” that is apparently in place. To me it’s a no-brainer. If this policy is being adhered to we’ll get Pieters. If not then we’ll get Bridge which will highlight that this “plan” from the owners is not a plan to develop people and players. It’s actually a plan to run things as cheaply as possible.
In other news, Fraser Forster has signed for Celtic again on another season-long loan deal although this time there is an option to make the move permanent. That gives us another squad space when taking into account the “25 man” rule as Forster would have to registered to play with us.
The despicable Neil Lennon had this to say regarding the concluded deal for Forster:
“There are a few little snags to overcome but we hope to have him registered in time for tomorrow night,” said Lennon.
He added: “He has been the main target since the end of last season. We did put a bid in but it was knocked back but we worked hard in the background to try to bring him in so I’m very, very pleased.”
So one out and none in seems to be the order of the day. Sound familiar? Time is ticking on and Newcastle only have until lunchtime on Friday to sign a player so that they are eligible for the big one at the weekend. Even then would you really want to throw someone straight into a Tyne-Wear derby? A new league? A new team? A new country? A new culture?* I’m not so sure…
* Culture does not apply to Sunderland unless we are talking about the bacteria around the locals teeth.
Frustrating is a bit of an understatement!