On a day where we woke up desperately hoping to see the club seal some last minute incomings, there’s been two players linked with potential moves away from St James’ Park – something we can’t see happening, but can you ever rule anything out when Mike Ashley’s involved?
Starting with the most concerning one, Spanish outlet MARCA claim that Athletic Bilbao will test Newcastle’s resolve over the signing of Mikel Merino, with the La Liga side planning to spend the £57m they are set to receive as Aymeric Laporte closes in on a big-money move to Manchester City.
It was widely reported that they tried to sign Merino from Dortmund over the summer, so an interest clearly exists, however you’d have to hope and pray that even Mike Ashley wouldn’t entertain a sale – even if the report suggests that we’d ‘listen to offers’.
The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas doesn’t see it happening, but that won’t stop us NUFC fans from worrying in a window that’s becoming increasingly painful by the minute..
That looks all sorts of wrong. Rafa a big fan of Merino, he's a big asset and #nufc only signed him a few months ago.
— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) January 30, 2018
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) January 30, 2018
As Ryder states below, Benitez has no intention of letting him go unless a replacement is found, with it also be insisted that Newcastle are only willing to sell if their £15m asking price is met.
Anderlecht trying to sign Mitrovic in last gasp deal. #nufc have stated they won't let him go unless there is a replacement.
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) January 30, 2018
I can’t see Merino happening at all, where as this one looks more possible – but only if a replacement is found. Rafa may not rate Mitrovic, but even he knows that he may end up being used if a striker doesn’t arrive before tomorrow’s deadline.
From what the Chronicle are saying, Anderlecht had looked at a loan deal (which was swiftly rejected) or a cut-price permanent deal (which won’t happen either), so I can only see Mitrovic being loaned out to his former club IF we bring in a new striker of our own in the next 48 hours.