According to the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, ex-NUFC scout Graham Carr once told him that he ‘doubted’ Mike Ashley would EVER spend big on a single player – claiming he often made no attempt to sign the top targets he put forward if they cost over £15m.
This pretty damning anecdote comes from the NUFC editor’s latest piece, which assesses whether we could finally break our transfer record this summer.
Fortunately, Mark admits that we are FINALLY expected to end our 13-year wait for a signing over £17m, however this Graham Carr admission will come as slightly concerning news to NUFC fans hoping to see us sign a top striker this summer.
Here’s an insightful little snippet from the piece, starting with what a Premier League agent recently told him about modern-day price-tags for proven strikers:
“If Newcastle want to buy a striker for £12million, I don’t know where they’re going to find him,” one agent with Premier League strikers on his books told me. £25million is the minimum starting point for anyone with a track record in the major leagues, they reckoned.
“Whether or not Newcastle can or will go to that sort of price range this summer is going to be a key component of whether they make a success of the next nine weeks of recruitment.
“Graham Carr once told me that he doubted the Ashley hierarchy would EVER go to that sort of price for a player. He would put players into the board that would cost more than £15million but soon realised that there was no real will to go out and get them.”
The same article goes on to admit that the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette were once keen to join Newcastle after being put forward by Graham Carr (during their time at St Etienne and Lyon), however Mike Ashley’s reluctance to pay their asking price saw both deals collapse.
Given proven strikers demand a fee in excess of £20m in this day and age, it’s concerning to hear what Carr has had to say about Ashley – a man who’ll know him more than most after working under him for several years.
Will he change his ways? Time will tell, but he’s going to have to loosen his purse strings sooner rather than later if he wants to match Rafa’s ambitions for NUFC.