Could Rafa axe these four first-team players to raise funds this summer?

Newcastle today confirmed the signing of Florian Lejeune, which will hopefully signal some traction in the market and more signings to follow.

Such a long drawn out process for a £8.7m deal raises the question as to what Rafa’s budget is for this window and whether he will have to raise more capital from current players. Which first team players could be sold to boost our transfer kitty?

Aleksandar Mitrovic – £8-10m

A fan favourite due to his attitude and commitment, Mitrovic hasn’t quite shown the goal scoring prowess we hoped for when we coughed up £13m for his services in the summer of 2015. Still young, he has plenty of time to improve and as his recent performances for Serbia have shown, he has ability. However, his NUFC future looks ominous.

Overlooked for most of the season in favour of Dwight Gayle, it is hard to imagine him lining up in the Premier league as our first choice striker next season. Gayle’s goals effectively won us promotion and with Rafa wanting additional and quicker strikers for his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, something has to give.

A loan deal has been mooted but you get the feeling he isn’t in Rafa’s plans and United will want to re-coup as big a fee as they can.

Chancel Mbemba – £8-10m

Mbemba is in a similar position to Mitrovic – another player with potential, with the pair having arrived from Anderlecht for a sizeable fee two years ago.

Again like Mitrovic though, last season wasn’t a good one for Mbemba as he was firmly a backup choice behind Clark and Lascelles. With Lejeune confirmed and Hanley likely to leave, it will be interesting to see if he can play his way back into the team or remains a squad player this term.

In the current market he could realistically bring NUFC a good fee, or at least close to the £8m we paid for him. With Rafa wanting numerous signings, he could be one to be shipped out.

Mo Diame – £3-5m

Mo Diame was brought in effectively and Sissoko’s replacement and came with pedigree in both the Championship and the Premier League. After hitting double figures in Hull’s promotion campaign, Diame was a good signing and at a low fee due to his release clause.

Now 30, and following an inconsistent season in black and white, he faces a battle to retain his place in the side. Number 10 is a key position in Rafa’s system and somewhere that will be strengthened this summer, after Diame failed to make the role his own.

We, of course, need strength and depth next year and Diame is one who has proven himself previously at a high level. However, he is one who may just be sacrificed to raise revenue and you imagine there would be plenty of takers, especially ambitious Championship sides.

Karl Darlow- £5-7m

Last year was Darlow’s chance to establish himself as NUFC’s number 1 after some good displays towards the back end of the 15/16 season. He initially started on the bench and behind new signing Mats Sels but after some poor displays from the Belgian, again found himself as first choice.

He made some brilliant saves at key times and some good performances, such as saving two pens at Forest, showed his excellent shot stopping abilities. He is however prone to errors and sometimes lacks the aerial skills or commanding presence needed of a top keeper.

Rafa called Rob Elliott back into the side for the end of the Championship campaign and with us clearly searching for a new goal keeper, Darlow may just be sold. His relatively young age may also mean he commands a higher fee than Elliott, which may come into Rafa’s thinking.

Newcastle are notoriously good sellers under Ashley when it comes to recouping fees for players. Rafa will be assessing all options to increase his transfer budget and although all of the above are good players that you’d ideally want to keep in the squad, don’t be surprised to see some of them depart this summer.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

129 thoughts on “Could Rafa axe these four first-team players to raise funds this summer?

  1. shamrock:
    Jaap Stam has confirmed he wanta to sign Darlow for Reading.

    Meanwhile we are apparenrly signing some kid released by Arsenal called Stefan O’Connor.

    Never heard of him. Probably one for the future as opposed to now.

    Sham – I hadn’t heard of Hayden either to be fair. I believe O’Connor had a trial period with us back end of last season, so I think Rafa has had a look at him in a hope he was released. I’m not sure if we would have a compo fee to pay for him still though.

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  2. Sharpy: I just looked up Nolito and it seems he is still on Man City’s books. Signed for 14 mil from Celta and year ago and is 30. I doubt he is on crazy money as City could have doubled or tripled his Celta pay with ease. I watched him quite a few times for Celta and he was their best player by a mile. Him, Nasri or Bony would be nice. We need a number number 10 – Perez and Diame are backups.

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  3. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: I just looked up Nolito and it seems he is still on Man City’s books. Signed for 14 mil from Celta and year ago and is 30. I doubt he is on crazy money as City could have doubled or tripled his Celta pay with ease. I watched him quite a few times for Celta and he was their best player by a mile. Him, Nasri or Bony would be nice. We need a number number 10 – Perez and Diame are backups.

    Eric – I think we just desperately need some creativity & players who can change a game for us – they tried to bring those types of players in with Cabella, Thauvin & De Jong and for one reason or another they haven’t worked out (maybe De Jong gets a second chance) – but players in those positions is what we should be targeting imo.

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  4. Lakaku joining Man Utd for £75m! Everton got some stick for laying £30m for him too! Although I have to say I’m not totally convinced he will be a game changer for them. Apparently if you took most of Lakaku’s goals off him last season Everton would still have finished 7th. He hardly scored any winning goals and most of his goals were in games they’d already won.

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  5. Stuart79:
    Lakaku joining Man Utd for £75m! Everton got some stick for laying £30m for him too! Although I have to say I’m not totally convinced he will be a game changer for them. Apparently if you took most of Lakaku’s goals off him last season Everton would still have finished 7th. He hardly scored any winning goals and most of his goals were in games they’d already won.

    Stu – I wouldn’t be surprised if Rooney features in that deal one way or another.

    It could be bad news for us though, coz I reckon Lukaku to Chelsea would have freed up Batshuyi.

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  6. Swansea have told Spurs if they want Alfie Mawson they will have to pay £30m and Boro have said the same about Ben Gibson!! Jesus Christ!

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  7. Stuart79:
    Swansea have told Spurs if they want Alfie Mawson they will have to pay £30m and Boro have said the same about Ben Gibson!! Jesus Christ!

    Stu – hence why we have to keep hold of the likes of Lascelles, Mbemba and probably Mitrovic.

    Younger players who if they have 1 good season become £25-30m players.

    Spurs will pay it too. They will sell Wimmer for £15-20m and spend it on Mawson.

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  8. It’s a really slow day for clickbaiters. I looked on newsnow and see the headline “Newcastle announce striker deal”. Turns out it is Heardman to Bury.

    Has anybody else noticed that the “news” outlets never put the names of players in headlines anymore? It is always “25 year old defender set to sign” which turns out to be Dummett signing a new deal.

    The only real news is Ashley’s drinking habits and the fact that he doesn’t get involved in football decisions at all now (good, if true).

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  9. If we win the Checkatrade Trophy does that count as the Trophy that Ashley said he would help us win before he sold the club?

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  10. Of all of the mooted transfers from PL clubs are there any that we would actually want?

    Chelsea stockpiled so many young players that they could loan us one or 2 but there is no talk of permanent deals.

    We have talked about possible deals for surplus Man City players but no-one in the press seems interested apart from talking about Hart.

    The only ones I can think of that might be viable are Gibbs who has a bad injury and not being picked record and Josh King and Andre Gray who may be one season wonders and are probably overpriced.

    Maybe Townsend but that talk has all but died.

    No wonder this blog is quiet. Nobody has even mentioned that Sky has decided to spoil 5 of your Sunday dinners with 5 of our 1st 7 games live on Sunday.

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  11. Well the club were true to their word. Another 2 signings today – and another 2 CBs.
    One young un released by Arsenal and one released by Everton – both straight into the U23 squad

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  12. Been looking at the we’re buying everybody on the planet nonsense and thinking about who out of all the dross I would actually want. We know we need a new spine and a bit of creativity.

    Goalkeeper Joe Hart
    I know he’s not everybody’s cuppa, but he has been England no 1 for good reasons. The idea is to buy experience until Freddie is ready. Joe at 30 may be a touch young but I’d rather he came here than went elsewhere. Timmy and Karl leaving.

    CB Well we have Florian and unless we sell one of Lascalles, Clarke or mBemba I imagine that’s enough.

    FB Dummett has signed a new deal, but we are still short in tis area. Would I take Keiran Gibbs. English, experienced in PL, Yes, but I think there may be better out there.

    CDM Samaras all day long for me. Good engine and a smart cookie by all accounts.

    Wide. Still like Adam Traore from Middlesbrough for me, not seen enough of Groseki to even spell his name right.

    AM Cerci. Was surprised to see him on a free. Scores goals creates assists, What’s not to like.

    CF Batshuayi just buy him. Big Money but worth it.

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  13. Sharpy17:
    Well the club were true to their word.Another 2 signings today – and another 2 CBs.
    One young un released by Arsenal and one released by Everton – both straight into the U23 squad

    young ones though mate, all well and good but we are desperate for first teamers.

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  14. Others we have been linked with:

    MCCarthy – not at 20 million but someone will probably pay it in this market.

    Lucas – yes at 5 million.

    That’s about it from the PL. I would have said to bid for Kevin Marallas but he just signed a new contract.

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  15. So, what can we expect? 5 or 6 from Spain or Germany that we may have vaguely heard of like Lejeune, and a couple of loans. I think we are currently a 16th, 17th or18th team and that might get us mid-table which would do for me in the first year back.

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  16. Milner took a pay cut to play at Liverpool. We might not be able to afford his wages but there is a new reality with salaries now. Jesse Lingard at 100k a week. Tammy Abraham, 19, at 50k a week. Alexis Sanchez is supposedly asking 400k a week! That’s 20 million a year. It sounds outrageous but a few of the star baseball pitchers get $30 million a year and football is now a global sport with Barca, Madrid, Man U and Bayern making half a BILLION Euros a year.

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  17. Imagine if you are Peter Beardsley who was probably never paid what he was worth, even at Liverpool, and him seeing snot nosed kids earning more in a year than he earned in his career.

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  18. Lingard isn’t fit to lace Saint Peter’s boots but I bet he earns more in about 18 months (8 Million) than Beardsley made in his whole career.

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  19. Rant over, but I was just thinking that we should cut Rafa, and even Charnley, some slack for the slow progress because it must be a strange negotiation when Fulham price Cairney at 25 mil or Boro Gibson at 30 mil and their Agent comes in and demands 5 million a year for someone in Division 2 and without a single cap. I think Cairney might have 1 for Scotland but that doesn’t count.

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  20. kimtoon: young ones though mate, all well and good but we are desperate for first teamers.

    Kim – couldn’t agree more, and it doesn’t seem we are remotely close to signing a first teamer ?

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  21. Is school out? The boys on Ed’s have nicknamed Bas Dost, Bad Toast. That’s about as funny as a Stan Boardman and Adam Sandler double act.

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  22. A good buy for Leeds for nowt,he will do ok there,funny how he was just about to sign for a Turkish side until their MD said he was to small he just likes tall defenders ffs

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  23. Ice: Messi’s only about 5-7. Remember Emre that we had as well? Canny player but couldn’t have been more than 5-5.

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  24. I watched a documentary on Barcelona once and they were explaining that most clubs were looking for superb physical specimens for their Academies. They pointed out that if they had used the same criteria they would have missed Messi, Iniesta and Xavi because they were all small for their age.

    I know Anita couldn’t play centre back but he was one of the better left backs in the Championship.

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  25. Eric Sykes:
    Ice: Messi’s only about 5-7. Remember Emre that we had as well? Canny player but couldn’t have been more than 5-5.

    Quite a few owners/MD haven’t got a clue what makes a good player,why bother having a manager,jabba is a prime candidate

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  26. Eric Sykes:
    I watched a documentary on Barcelona once and they were explaining that most clubs were looking for superb physical specimens for their Academies. They pointed out that if they had used the same criteria they would have missed Messi, Iniesta and Xavi because they were all small for their age.

    I know Anita couldn’t play centre back but he was one of the better left backs in the Championship.

    He only lacked a bit of pace

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  27. Maradona is shorter than Messi too and the great Pele was only a touch over 5’6″, never did them any harm

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  28. Just checked and Vurn is 5′ 6″ Goofy and Dummett are 5’7″ And Colback is 5′ 61/2″

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  29. kimtoon:
    Just checked and Vurn is 5′ 6″ Goofy and Dummett are 5’7″ And Colback is 5′ 61/2″

    I think ‘lil Vurn might have borrowed some of Dave Hill of Slades platforms from the ’70s for that measurement. I’d like to see him and Dummett back to back to see who is telling porkies. My ex-wife’s drivers license said she is 120 lbs. Yeah, when she was 14!!!!

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  30. Eric Sykes: I think ‘lil Vurn might have borrowed some of Dave Hill of Slades platforms from the ’70s for that measurement. I’d like to see him and Dummett back to back to see who is telling porkies. My ex-wife’s drivers license said she is 120 lbs. Yeah, when she was 14!!!!

    😆 😆

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  31. If we want to sign this Samaras fella we need to get a shift on like – they reckon Everton are sniffing now & the way they’ve been signing players this season, they won’t hang about!!. – and they’ll have another £75m to spend soon.

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  32. I see Marseilles are now favourites for Giroud. Good, if we can’t get him I don’t want him going to Everton. They are all happy because they signed the Ajax Captain. It didn’t work for us although I am hoping that de Jong is fully recovered now and can show us something.

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  33. Also don’t forget them forwards could all score with their heads so must of out jumped a few defenders here and there. Well apart from Maradona who uses his hand 🙂 😉

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