Press here in the UK was filled with news regarding potential incoming transfers yesterday when news emerged that Newcastle had beat off interest from Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham to secure the services of 23-year-old Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko.
Sissoko will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with prospective new clubs in January as his current deal with Toulouse is set to expire at the end of the season.
Interest in the the French international will no doubt be high as the player is rated highly within the game. He’s been compared to some of best players to have played in his position in recent years, with some likening him to a Patrick Viera or Michael Essien type of player.
However any news of a move appeared to be short-lived as soon as Alan Pardew got wind of it and revealed to the press that the signing was “news to him”, which makes me wonder….
Quite a lot of transfer dealings are “news” to Alan Pardew, at least in public anyway. Perhaps the most notable comparison is the deal which saw Romain Amalfitano arrive at Newcastle last summer in a deal that was pretty much on the same terms of a pre-contract agreement. For months all parties denied the move until it was decided to release the details officially.
Whether that is the case here I honestly don’t know, but it would be a cracking signing if Newcastle were trying to pull another rabbit out of the hat. Toulouse once slapped a €30 million release clause on the head of Sissoko although admittedly that was over three years ago when the likes of Manchester City, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich expressed interest in the player.
Looking at it from an NUFC perspective though it would seem to be a deal that would tick all the boxes of our transfer policy. Sissoko is the right age, can still develop, is highly rated, and wouldn’t require a huge outlay up front in terms of transfer fee at least. Also I dare say that our scouting team has already watched the lad, whether directly or indirectly, so we’ll no doubt know all about him.
The only problem I can see, if any deal did materialise obviously, is that we would be strengthening an area of the pitch that is already strong. In central midfield we have a fair few options ranging from Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote to James Perch, Gael Bigirimana and Vurnon Anita so I’d expect us to lose one of them, probably one of the first two, for a large fee and replace him with someone like Sissoko if, and it is a big IF, this deal was in the pipeline.
That’s the aim of our policy isn’t it?