According to the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, Newcastle were all set to sign Spanish U-21 striker Sandro Ramirez last summer – only for Everton to ‘blow us out of the water’ at the last minute with a contract offer significantly higher than the one we were offering.
Whilst this intriguing anecdote may be seen as old news by some, this perhaps just shows what we’ll be up against once again this summer.
Yes we’ve got our fingers on the pulse when it comes to potential bargains (and Sandro could have been one with a £5m release clause), but it also highlights how we struggle to compete in terms of the wage packets we’re prepared to offer.
Here’s what the NUFC editor had to say during a recent piece for the Chronicle:
“When they met in those May days of possibility following Newcastle United’s promotion to the Premier League, Rafa Benitez proposed a striker signing to Mike Ashley that whetted the owner’s appetite.
“Malaga striker Sandro Ramirez was young, up-and-coming and coming off the back of a 14-goal La Liga season that seemed to hint at the early promise that had seen him break into Barcelona’s first team.
“At £5million – a price pretty much negotiated before his name was mentioned to Ashley – it felt like the perfect sort of Newcastle United deal.
“‘Go and get him’ came the message from the Newcastle owner – only for Everton to blow Newcastle out of the water with a contract offer several times larger than the one Newcastle were proposing or thought was right for a player of his stature.”
Some may say it was a bit of a bullet dodged, with bagging just a goal and an assist for Everton prior to his January loan move to Sevilla, however I know who I’d rather have signed for £5m between him and Joselu.
We won’t be losing any sleep that we’ve missed out on him as things stand, but we (Ashley and co.) should learn our lessons on this one.
A similar bargain could be had this summer in Clement Grenier (who’s been recently linked with a £2.65m move to Tyneside), however we’ll miss out on him in the exact same way if we refuse to offer an enticing wage packet.