About a week has passed since I wrote an article asking how you would spend the £8 million budget it seems that Alan Pardew has been given for transfers.
But as the last few days have passed by it’s starting to look like we’ve now got a striker on the agenda, as well as the rumoured defender.
It’s been reported that the deal from Virgin money could be worth up to £20 million over the two years of the contract, so with my expert maths skills I make that £10 million per year depending on what strings are attached.
Before the announcement of the Virgin deal Pardew quashed any talk of a move for a striker. That may have been a clever move to make us not seem desperate and willing to pay huge fees, but something has changed.
As well as us looking for a defender and now a striker, the other day we had a £4.5 million bid for Benjamin Corgnet of Dijon rejected. A £4 million bid for James Tomkins was also tabled and that amounts to £8-9 million pounds, without the signing of a striker.
We have also been linked with a deal for ex-target Mevlut Erdinc who would be rumoured to cost around £6 million and according to some “in the knows” we’ve had a representation in France trying to thrash a deal out for the out of favour PSG man.
It comes as no coincidence that we’ve started to put bids in for more than just the promised defender just after a cash injection from Virgin. An extra £10 million per year in the coffers may mean we have an extra few million to spend this January.
I know we should have plenty of money to spend, and Ashley has said that there is money to spend if the right player becomes available, but giving us a little bit extra money for no reason isn’t his style.
I’m sure the cynics out there will say we’re looking for a new striker because of the rumoured departure of Demba Ba, and Corgnet is a target because we’re losing Cheik Tiote, but I’m not so sure about that.
I’d be surprised if Demba Ba left this window, as he’s away with Senegal and clubs will still be waiting to see how his knees hold up before considering offers. There is a lot of confusion regarding his buyout clause, and the club haven’t said anything, so nobody really knows the ins and outs.
If we manage to keep Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote and spend around £14-15 million on a defender, a midfielder and a striker, we would have a very good chance of seventh or maybe even sixth place going into the business end of the season.
I’m not confident of that happening, but it would certainly be Ashley turning the corner, with very little expense when compared to our recent income.
Come on Mike, give us a good’un?