There have been some interesting articles released recently surrounding the potential takeover, explaining what may or may not happen in the transfer window come January.
The latest reports are that, despite the prospect of oil money coming into the club, financial fair play would limit our spend in the next window to between £50-£80m. It is has also been said that Ashley WILL in fact sanction some money for transfers even if a takeover does not go through by then.
Not £50m plus of course, but purely to keep us as an attractive proposition to sell, with it being in his interest as far as a potential sale goes to keep Benitez and the squad in a healthy position. The last thing potential buyers would want to see would be a club in free-fall or facing impending relegation.
So where do we need to strengthen and who may we target in January, whether we are taken over by then or not:
Not bringing in a proven or quality centre forward was the main, and deserved criticism, of Ashley and co. this summer. Benitez has us well drilled, solid defensively and is squeezing all he can out of a committed squad, however – as the past week has shown – it is clear we lack the firepower to really progress up the table. Gayle was better on Saturday but big questions remain over his ability in the top flight, Mitrovic is clearly not trusted by the manager and although working hard for the team, Joselu appeared to be signed as a stop gap of sorts, showing once again on Saturday that he isn’t a 15-goal a season striker. A clinical forward is hard to find but United need to make this their priority this winter.
Potential targets with a takeover: Cenk Tosun (Besiktas), Willian Jose (Real Sociedad)
Potential targets without a takeover: Danny Ings (Liverpool – loan)
Another problem position for Newcastle over the last few years has been behind of just off the striker. Perez fills the role currently and although he is another hard worker, he lacks the cutting edge to make the role his own moving forward. Rafa favours a 4-2-3-1 formation so this role is key to our success, especially when we already lack firepower up front.
Potential targets with a takeover: Tom Cairney (Fulham), Dennis Praet (Sampdoria)
Potential targets without a takeover: Lewis Holtby (Hamburg), Gabriel Pires (Leganes)
A position in the summer that was certainly a weak point for us, as loyal servant Dummett’s limitations have been there for all to see. Dummett is still injured and Manquillo has come in and performed fairly well and certainly above expectations. So although not as urgent as options going forward, longer term a quality left back would certainly improve us. That being said, Rafa will be delighted with our defensive prowess so far this season, conceding less than a goal a game in the Premier League, however he’ll want a natural left-back to give us ‘balance’.
Potential targets with a takeover: Luke Shaw (Man Utd – loan), James Milner (Liverpool)
Potential targets without a takeover: Matty Targett (Southampton), Kennedy (Chelsea)
I still feel there is scope for a real quality winger to be added to the squad. Ritchie has been excellent all things considered this season, chipping in with four assists. Atsu started the season well, and still looks decent business, but has faded and Murphy has not delivered yet following his £12m arrival. Aarons is still in the squad but time surely is running out for the youngster to finally make a real mark on Tyneside. A winger who offers more goals would be a welcome addition and take some pressure off our misfiring strike force.
Potential targets with a takeover: Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid)
Potential targets without a takeover: Adama Traore (Middlesbrough), Kamil Grosicki (Hull)
Who would you like to see come in this January? Let us know your thoughts on the areas you feel need strengthening and the sort of players you feel we could sign with and without a takeover.