Newcastle have started discussions with representatives of Lyon full-back Aly Cissokho over a move to St James’ Park while a deal for wantaway Sochaux striker Modibo Maiga is still on the cards if reports in the Sunday Sun are to be believed.
Mark Douglas is reporting that “significant progress” has been made in the hunt to secure players in the two positions that have been earmarked by Alan Pardew – striker and left-back – although naturally there are still many hurdles to cross as the club go about concluding transfer business for another window. Hopefully.
Apparently the club have opened discussions with the English representatives of Lyon left-back Aly Cissokho. Personally I’m not too convinced by this as Cissokho is a quality player who could, and very nearly did, join a much bigger club than us. In fact he was on the verge of joining AC Milan not so long back although a failed medical due to a problem with his teeth which meant that his move was subsequently cancelled.
Hmm, having said that it does seem to be our territory as there is a quirk that we can use as a bargaining tool. However it appears that the “tool” being used is a sledgehammer. And yes I did resist putting in a quip about Derek Llambias…
Onto Modibo Maiga now and I think it’s fairly safe to say that there is some interest on our part. I mean not only is the player on strike whilst being vocal about wanting to move here, we also have Alan Pardew “not condoning” his actions.
I can’t quite work this transfer out to be honest. I mean to me tit seems as though there is something fishy going on. I mean that player says he has met everyone at Newcastle. Is that not a bit risky? Does it not sound a bit dodgy? Mind you, I’m surprised he is so desperate to join given the speculated wages that we offer.
Meanwhile Alan Pardew has moved to quell rumours that Newcastle run things any differently to any other club in the Premier League. It’s probably true to an extent, with the only difference being the personnel that are employed to do the deals. However rumours have persisted about Pardew’s role in recruitment. Here he seeks to clarify things:
“I don’t think the process at Newcastle is very different from elsewhere in the Premier League,” he told the Sunday Sun.
“It’s exactly what I had at West Ham in terms of chief executive trying to do the deal – and it’s as simple as that. The board, and in this case we don’t really have a board – it’s Mike to a degree, agreeing with the deal that the chief executive has done.”
“That’s the same as every other club that I know and how it works. I keep hearing these things about this football club that are actually just not true. I don’t think the procedure is any different.”
“At West Ham I would tell Aldridge, my chief executive there, I would like to do a deal for him. He would go away and try and do the deal and most of the time it didn’t happen, to be honest. Usually because the other club make it impossible to happen. It is the same at Stoke – it is the same at Manchester United.”
Alan Pardew is not the only manager who doesn’t have a hands on approach with transfers. In fact in recent weeks, just off the top of my head, we’ve heard noises from Wigan, Stoke and Tottenham suggesting that exactly the same thing happens at those clubs. I dare say that most of the rest are the same.
Two in before the Fulham game? Well that would be ideal wouldn’t it although I get the feeling that we’ve been here before. Were we not told that we’d have a left-back in situ for the game yesterday? Exactly. We don’t appear to be great at hitting deadlines.
On that basis I shall wait and see.