According to the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, Newcastle have been asked to ‘start the bidding at around £25m’ if they want to sign highly-rated Paraguayan playmaker Miguel Almiron in January – the man recently described as Rafa’s ‘top target’.
The 24-year-old has bagged an impressive 13 goals and 13 assists in the MLS so far this season, with his agent confirming our interest in an interview last week.
Here is Douglas’ latest take on the situation and already looking a the fees mentioned, it is becoming more unlikely he will make the move to Newcastle, even though he appears to be the type of creative number 10 we badly need:
‘Newcastle United would have to shatter their transfer record to land Miguel Almiron in the January transfer window.
‘The Atlanta United star is one of the best players in the MLS and his versatility – he can play in several attacking positions and also on either wing – appeals to Rafa Benitez. At 24, he would also tick the box of United’s transfer profile, with the board asking for the Newcastle manager to consider re-sale value and whether the player is a long-term prospect.
‘But it’s understood the MLS club rate him in excess of £20million, with interested suitors asked to start the bidding at around £25million.’
It is well documented, and rightly so, that our transfer record amazingly still stands at the £17m we paid for Michael Owen in 2005, two years before Ashley bought NUFC.
He isn’t interested in spending money to compete, especially in today’s transfer market as prices spiral out of control. Almiron looks a big talent but it’s still a massive risk moving from the MLS to the Premier League, with there being big gap in quality between the two leagues. It can also be harder for attacking players making this switch to lower placed teams like us currently; Almiron would have to make the most of the fewer chances he would get in the English top flight.
That all being said, in the current market £20m+ isn’t an unrealistic price, it is just unrealistic for Newcastle United under Ashley.
Unless we spend real money we will be forced to gamble on unproven talent like Almiron, but the irony is that Ashley is still likely to balk at the fee even these type of players demand nowadays.
After all, we made a profit of £21m in the summer so signing Almiron would just put us back to square one. However, it’s never that easy with Newcastle under Ashley, as well know…