When Joe Kinnear returned to the club as Director of Football he made it perfectly clear that he would get the final say with transfer dealings. Kinnear proved he wasn’t bluffing early on as he refused to authorise the planned free transfer of FC Twente defender Douglas. In fact he made former Managing Director Derek Llambias contact the player to tell him the deal was off. This proved to be one of Derek’s last duties before handing in his resignation.
It had been questioned by fans whether Alan Pardew would be willing to work under stipulations which would forbid him from having too much of a say in incoming transfers. It’s well documented that Chief Scout, Graham Carr has been heavily involved with transfer dealings and has been responsible for most of our recruits in the last couple of seasons. I did read somewhere that apparently Gabby Obertan and Davide Santon were Pardew’s buys rather than Carr’s, but I think Graham has identified most of our in comings.
Kinnear has publicly stated that he does intend to work closely with both Carr and Pardew in terms of dealings, but has always repeated his final opinion is the one that matters. Reports have even suggested that Joe will act as peace maker between Pardew and Carr, who allegedly have had a number of squabbles over the ability of some of our current playing staff. If these revelations are true, you do have to wonder how Alan may feel about having someone else on board who will dictate to him about who the club should be signing. Although it seems Joe may very well value Pardew’s opinions after all.
The Mirror is today reporting that following a telephone conversation with the Manager, Joe will go out and try and land two of Pardew’s long term targets. Newcastle have been linked heavily with striker Darren Bent and West Ham’s James Tomkins for some time, both are believed to be players that Alan wants to bring to Tyneside. If the report is accurate, it could be that Kinnear is willing to compromise and back Pardew with transfers. Although the story does suggest that Kinnear is keen on Tomkins himself.
James Tomkins has been linked with Newcastle for the past couple of windows, but with the defender putting pen to paper on a new deal at West Ham last season negotiations could prove to be tricky. The paper is quoting that a fee of around £5 million would be needed to secure the Englishmen. The Hammers have stated several times that they aren’t interested in cashing in on their young defender, as they see him as a real prospect with a big future. Personally having watched James a few times I don’t think he is worth that much and we could get better value elsewhere. He looks a bit shaky and prone to error at times in my opinion.
Darren Bent seems surplus to requirements at current club Aston Villa. The striker joined Villa for massive money from The Mackems following a transfer request in 2011. Bent has played under Pardew before when Alan brought him to Charlton from Ipswich. Bent was in fact a target for Newcastle back when Sir Bobby Robson was in charge, we were linked with the hitman around the same time we brought his former team mate Darren Ambrose to the club.
Bent has been dismissed by several fans for being ‘a former Mackem’. But I would take him if we could get him in on the cheap, he scores goals at Premier League level and would be a useful addition to the squad. It has been reported in recent weeks that Bent himself would welcome a move back to the North East in a bid to resurrect his career. With the World Cup next year Darren will probably believe that if he’s playing and scoring goals he will have every chance of forcing his way back into the England set up.
Meanwhile NUFC.COM reported last night that the club have launched a £10 million bid for an unconfirmed striker. It has been recognized that the club are drastically short of forwards and that Ashley will prioritize a striker over the summer. You would have to assume that a bid of that size isn’t for Darren Bent, but it could very well be French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac. The Marseille man has been linked with Newcastle over the past couple of days.
So what do you think? Who is the mystery striker? Is Tomkins good enough? Is Bent worth a chance?