What a mess. Less than 48 hours of the window remaining and yesterday was perhaps rock bottom, with Daniel Sturridge signing for West Brom (just hours after his loan move to NUFC looked on) and talks for Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen appearing to collapse according to reports in Holland.
With tomorrow’s 11pm deadline fast approaching, there’s not long left but our need for a striker remains unbearably important – and surely Mike Ashley (despite his idiocy) realises that he’s seriously jeopardising our chances of staying up if he fails to deliver one.
So, with several of Benitez’s targets having bitten the dust over the past 24 hours, who could NUFC now look to sign in the dying moments of the January Window? Here’s five potentials:
Islam Slimani (Leicester)
A player confirmed to be on Rafa’s radar. He wants out at Leicester and is reportedly keen on remaining in the Premier League. The only issue (and it’s a big one) is that the Foxes don’t seem willing to loan him to an English club – and I don’t suspect we’ll pay the alleged £20m asking price (he’s nearly 30).
He could be ideal. Big, strong and hungry to make a success of himself in England, so could be a considerable upgrade on Joselu. A deal looks unlikely (with Monaco mentioned recently and Leicester preferring to sell), but we may just put together an enticing loan offer which may see them reconsider? I hope so, as I feel he’s a player who could hit the ground running at NUFC (unlike Jorgensen who’d no doubt have taken time to adapt).
Sandro Ramirez (Everton)
Rafa missed out on him in the summer after his interest in signing the Spaniard was made known. He joined Everton instead but has failed to settle and looks very likely to be loaned out over the next 48 hours.
It was reported over the weekend that he prefers a return to Spain, with Sevilla in the mix for his signature, but he may be swayed by compatriot Benitez and the Spanish contingent at the club if no such offer is forthcoming from his homeland. He’s struggled at Everton so he’d be a risk, but the ex-Barcelona man did hit 14 goals in La Liga last season so is clearly a talent. A risk worth taking perhaps?
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)
Another Leicester striker. It was reported yesterday that he wants to go out on loan before the window slams shut, claiming that Rafa was an admirer and was keen to take him to Tyneside until the end of the season.
I’m not convinced that Leicester would actually let go of their £25m summer signing, but, if they were willing to, he’d be a brilliant buy for us. I watched him against Peterborough in the FA Cup on Saturday and I was very impressed. He’s young, but given a run in the team he could score the goals to keep us up.
Troy Deeney (Watford)
It’s been said that Benitez would like a target man with Premier League experience and with that in mind, it’s no surprise that Deeney has been linked with a move to Tyneside earlier in the window.
I see this one as highly unlikely, as it’d no doubt take a bid above our current club transfer record to sign him, however he seems to be available this month, with him having been in talks to sign for West Brom before they beat us to the punch for Daniel Sturridge.
I think he’d be open to the move, but have my doubts that we’d pay the required fee – although we did offer £15m for Jorgensen, so the money’s there..
Oumar Niasse (Everton)
We’re getting desperate, aren’t we. The Senegalese striker is hardly the man we’d have been wanting to pin our hopes on for the remainder of the season, however beggars cannot be choosers in our situation and we may have to take anyone who’d give us ‘another option’ if deals for the above all fail to materialise.
He’s been used sparingly at Everton and his chances in the side will only decrease following their £27m signing of Cenk Tosun. It’s also worth mentioning that he’s scored a few whenever hes’ played, with him having 7 goals in 14 appearances this season – as many as Gayle and Joselu combined!
Let us know your thoughts folks – who would you be looking at with less than 48 hours to go?
(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)