Alan Pardew has stated on numerous occasions what he thinks of the January transfer window but I think his dislike for it is actually surpassed by most, if not all, Newcastle supporters.
The deadline day sale of, at the time, our star striker still remains fresh in the memories of the masses, many suspecting it may happen again, and for some, it has almost made the possibility of a top player being sold this January an inevitability.
There is still a week to go before we can breath a collective sigh of relief and there will be many a squeaky bum on Tyneside as the week progresses and the media storm of transfer propaganda intensifies, but this January has been one of incoming rumours rather than all eyes on the departure lounge.
The signing of our new number nine was one of complete surprise and even made those who hold most contempt for Mike Ashley and Co question their standpoint, but we find ourselves still needing a defensive signing coming into the last week with no sign of a deal being struck as yet.
This and the fact that the world and its dog knows Newcastle are in the market for a defender, has given the media and basically anyone with an imagination free license to link every defender under the sun with a move to St James’ Park and after three or more weeks of it I can safely say, I can’t wait for the window to close, regardless of whether we sign someone.
In the past week alone I have heard some absolute belters, the most laughable of which came the day before yesterday when I was told that Eleaquim Mangala was due at the Benton training facility for a medical and was all but signed.
First of all, Mangala signed for Porto at the end of the summer window. Secondly, as with a lot of players at Porto, he has a release clause, but a ludicrous one, said to be in the ballpark of £40 million. Now unless Mike Ashley has completely lost the plot, I would bet my house on him not signing for Newcastle. In fact I’d even throw my grandmother into the deal for good measure.
Next rumour of epic imagination was yesterday. The defender, Brede Hangelaand. Not too unrealistic you might think. The rumoured deal – £4 million plus Gabriel Obertan. Now although feasible under normal circumstances, I would be shocked to a degree where I became permanently speechless if this one came to fruition considering Gabriel Obertan was only bought in the summer, never mind starting 90% of our games since his arrival.
There are so many I could go on all day. While the level of imagination has to be admired, I have got to the stage where being linked with another name has actually started frustrate more than excite. At this point I think it’s fairly clear that nobody outside Ashley, Charnley, Lambias, Padrew and Graham Carr has a monkeys uncle who our targets are.
There are of course some things that become public knowledge of course, such as ‘Arry blabbing about Demba Ba’s clause and a couple of bids from Newcastle for players which have been knocked back almost as soon as they hit the desk of the clubs the players are under contract to.
Now as for the former, I think everyone is in agreement here, Redknapp has no business talking about players contracts that are at other clubs, never mind being players he has not actually made an offer for, or even an intention to bid on at all, but as we all know, ‘Arry just can’t help himself.
The latter mentioned, that being our confirmed bid for players, is an interesting one though. It may well be the case that we are interested in these players, but the low-ball nature of the bids would suggest they are no more than token bids. Some would say to keep the Geordie faithful content in the knowledge we are bidding on players. Others would speculate it is all a smokescreen to veer the media bloodhounds off the scent of our actual target, or indeed targets.
Whatever the case may be, the fact is we are into the last week of the window and no defender has been signed, and as much as we can handle waiting until the summer in certain positions, the centre of defence is not one of them. Without at least someone else in as back-up we are extremely thin on the ground in this regard and one injury to Fabricio Coloccini or Mike Williamson could see us really pay the price and possibly even cost us a European place.
So, with that said I fully expect Pardew has a worst case scenario contingency option in place this time around if moves for priority targets go belly up over the next few days, and with the Geordie nation all kneeling bedside at night for the next week, praying City or Chelsea don’t take out the cheque book, we should see ourselves with all our top stars still at the club come February.
The next week will no doubt be hectic in terms of rumours and with Newcastle already linked with over twenty defenders this window, I think we may well have more players linked to us by the deadline day than we did in the whole of last summer, the next ‘done deal’ more imaginative than the last.
But for now, some rational speculation among the blogs faithful may make for some good debate.
So, of all the names linked to us so far, who do you think could be on their way to Tyneside?