Whilst we are all awaiting confirmation of our first signing of the summer – Remi Savage; a 19-year-old Centre Back that never broke through at Liverpool and played 19 Premier League 2 games last season – I’ve taken a look at all things transfer related ahead of an awkward summer at St James’ Park.
The Savage one might actually be a good one despite it hardly being one that will attract many a season ticket sale and renew our confidence in our survival hopes. Despite his lack of first team experience he was offered a new contract at Liverpool and turned it down.
The problem is, the clock is ticking and we still don’t know what Bruce’s budget is. Alan Nixon of The Sun said £50m earlier this month, but the general consensus is that Bruce will be given very little to spend if the takeover battle fails – with a few suggesting it’s around £12m plus player sales. Oh, and where on earth is Lee Charnley? So much up in the air and so little coming out of the club. June is often a relatively relaxed month, but it’s noticeably quiet at St. James Park at the moment.
What I want to concentrate on is possible outgoings that may raise some funds – which feels pretty essential if Bruce wants to re-sign Joe Willock, buy a decent Centre-Back and a capable striker to compete with Callum Wilson.
Using the well-respected Transfermrkt.co.uk – whose valuations do side on the low end of the scale – I’ve looked at some possible revenue streams that Bruce could use.
Considering fringe men, returning loanees, players who may want out – or we might want out – I’ve worked out that around £32m could be raised:
- Matt Ritchie – £2.7m
- Dwight Gayle – £3.6m
- Fabian Schar – £8.1m
- Karl Darlow – £2.7m
- Freddie Woodman – £9m
- Florian Lejeune – £4.05m
- Yoshinori Muto – £2.25m
Matt Ritchie apparently wants a Bournemouth return. Value is £2.7m – Dwight Gayle, give him a new contract and then sell. Value is £3.6m. Fabian Schar is in the same category as Gayle. Value here is £8.1m and Bruce does seem to want to change his CB’s.
The goalkeeping situation rumbles on. Karl Darlow wants game time after his success last term so it may be a good time to sell. His value is £2.7m. I may also be that we have to release Freddie Woodman as he hardly wants another loan move to get game time. Value £9m.
Then there’s the two returned loanees who don’t seem to have a place in Bruce’s heart or thinking. Florian Lejeune, value £4.05m and Yoroshini Muto at £2.25m.
They, to me, are all realistic sales and would raise £32.4m on Transfermrkt values – which tend to be a lot lower than the actual fees received – and in my honest opinion, with the exception of Woodman, none would be really missed.
Then there are ‘maybes’ who could be sold for one reason or another. Joelinton? I think there’s a player in there but is it a Premier League player? Value is £15.3m. Ryan Fraser who unless he has a Scotland shirt on looks so far a waste of time! Value £9m.
Ciaran Clark as there is some talk we’d be open to offers starting at around £2.7m. Matty Longstaff could be another if we decide to cash in, not loan him out, as Bruce just isn’t playing him! We’d get more than just compensation this time. He’s valued at £4.5m and what about Sean Longstaff? Also, not a regular despite our limited midfield options and currently rated at £13.5m.
So, that’s another £43.2m in the coffers and to be honest I think none of those would be really, really missed? So, add all that to the £12m and we’ve now got £97.6m to spend! More than enough to get us at least half-a-dozen players to supplement the squad with quality we’d use.
All pie-in-the-sky of course, but this perhaps proves that we could still have a fruitful summer should we sell well and buy smart.