Several South American reporters have claimed that the Paraguayan was on his way to St James’ Park in recent weeks, however it now seems clear that we are yet to make a bid – and must stump up a club record fee if we want to sign him in the new year.
Our interest appears to be genuine, with news of him being Rafa’s number one January target – backed up by reports that head of recruitment Steve Nickson recently jetted out to the US to negotiate a deal – but Ashley sanctioning a deal is another matter entirely.
Here’s what the Guardian’s Ed Aarons has said about Almiron today – suggesting the £23m playmaker is now gaining interest from West Ham:
It’s been reported recently in the Chronicle that Almiron is very much open to a move to Newcastle and keen to play under Rafa Benitez, but money could be a big issue here (especially with Ashley still involved).
Given their spending over the summer, a club like West Ham wouldn’t think twice about spending £20m plus on Almiron – while we still have an owner who’s yet to spend over £14m on a player since he arrived over 10 years ago.
I think this deal hinges on a takeover, but I’d love to be proved wrong.