So, it’s now or never. Deadline day is upon us and it’s arrived in pretty pitiful circumstances – with Rafa Benitez STILL waiting on the signing of a striker after moves for Nicolai Jorgensen and Daniel Sturridge came to nothing.
Following confirmation of Benitez’s last-gasp call to Mike Ashley yesterday in a bid to secure some last minute deals for the club, the Chronicle have provided an update on some names we can expect to see explored during the final few hours of the window today.
No doubt new names will emerge, but here’s some players thrown into the hat by the Chronicle today and their comments on each ahead of a massive important day for the club on the transfer front:
Islam Slimani (Leicester)
“Leicester City’s Islam Slimani remains a player they’re continuing to monitor, but the Foxes won’t loan him out to another Premier League side and would command a high fee to allow him to go.”
Likely? Unless Leicester changes their stance (unwilling loan to PL side) or we put in a surprise permanent bid then I just can’t see this happening. A real shame if so as he’d fit the bill pretty perfectly in the circumstances.
Richmond Boakye (Red Star Belgrade)
“Red Star Belgrade striker Richmond Boakye is being considered as a late striker option for Newcastle, though there are doubts over whether the Ghanaian would receive a work permit, with the Magpies quoted £4m for the forward according to sources in Serbia.”
Likely? Doubts over a work permit mentioned before this one’s already begun. £4m seems like a risk-free deal, but whether we’d actually get this done in time is another matter. He’s scored goals for fun for Red Star (39 in 48), but who knows how he’d fair in the PL.
Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague)
“The Magpies are still pushing hard to complete the loan signing of Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and are hopeful of coming to an agreement.”
Likely? This one feels like it’s been dragging on unnecessarily. He’s said to be keen to sign (as you’d expect) and the rumoured price (loan with option to buy for £4m) is hardly excessive. Typical NUFC dragging their heels?
Michal Krmencik (Viktoria Plzen)
“Viktoria Plzen’s Michal Krmencik is another name mentioned. The 24-year-old has netted 16 in 20 this season and the Mail claim the Czech Repulic international could be available for around £10m.”
Likely? Really hard to sat with this one. Would Ashley spend £10m on a player unproven at any credible level? I doubt it.
Eliaquim Mangala (Man City)
“Manchester City’s Eliquim Mangala is subject of a late enquiry from the Magpies.
“Benitez is a long-term admirer of the centre-back and is hoping the two sides can quickly thrash out the details of a loan deal until the end of the season. The move would suggest Benitez might be planning a more permanent switch to three at the back, like he played against Chelsea at the weekend.
“It’s also worth noting that Mangala’s arrival would mean that any striker would have to arrive from abroad if it is a loan deal, with clubs only allowed to have two loanees from other Premier League clubs.”
Likely? Everton are now involved (sigh..). City also seem to want NUFC to pay his £80,000 wage packet in full and his loan arrival would limit any Premier League striker signing until the end of the season. I don’t think this should be a priority, but Rafa is clearly a big fan so you never know.
Some pretty unfamiliar names being thrown in here by the Chronicle, but with Rafa having missed out on his top targets, there may be little other choice but to look at the alternative options.