Another day, another new name linked – and this time it’s West Brom skipper Kyle Bartley who is being linked with a summer move to St James’ Park.
This comes from The Telegraph, who report that the big centre-back has ’emerged as an option’ for both Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, suggesting we really are back shopping in the bargain basement this summer.
Bartley’s Baggies suffered relegation from the Premier League last season and it’s claimed he will be allowed to leave The Hawthorns if a £3m bid arrives, as he’s entering the final 12 months of his current contract.
Here’s a snippet from Mike McGrath’s latest transfer notebook piece for The Telegraph:
‘West Brom centre-back Kyle Bartley has emerged as an option for Newcastle and Crystal Palace to bolster their defence.
‘The 30-year-old has a year left on his contract at The Hawthorns and could be landed for around £3m. Palace are looking to strengthen their backline as Gary Cahill was among the players who did not renew their contract.‘
The 6ft 4′ defender has spent almost 75% of his career playing in the Championship and did little to suggest he is Premier League class in West Brom’s recent relegation season.
He is a leader, a big physical presence and the sort of signing that might suit a newly promoted side battling to stay up, but this isn’t an upgrade on our current options – and certainly wouldn’t offer us the sort of pace, athleticism and ball-playing ability we currently lack at the back.
That said, I’m not so sure Mike Ashley would sanction a £3m move for a 30-year-old if he’s allegedly refusing to pay £1m more for a 27-year-old Mario Lemina, who cost Southampton £15m just four years ago!