The transfer window rolls on and there has yet to be a breakthrough for Steve Bruce.
Graeme Bailey, now at 90min.com, reports that Mike Ashley is furious about the delay to the takeover legal proceedings.
He also goes on to say that the transfer budget will be less than £20 million this summer, meaning the club will need to be clever in how they maximise their budget – especially when it’s believed Bruce is after a centre-back, two midfielders and possibly a forward, too.
The report closes on a link to James McCarthy, the Republic of Ireland international who is available on a free transfer following his release from Crystal Palace.
During his two seasons in South London, McCarthy only started 26 Premier League matches. The last time he played more than 2000 minutes in a league season was the 2015/16 campaign.
Here’s a snippet from Bailey’s piece, which suggests NUFC coach Graeme Jones is a big fan of McCarthy’s and could be key to any deal:
Irish midfielder James McCarthy is a player that Bruce’s highly-rated coach Graeme Jones is a big fan of following their experiences at Wigan and Everton together. He is one of the players who has been waiting to see if Crystal Palace will offer fresh terms, although it is believed the chance to link up with Jones at Newcastle is a huge lure.
Celtic had previously held talks with McCarthy, while Burnley and West Ham have also been linked with a move. Outside of the 30-year-old, Newcastle are also exploring their options in the loan market.
Injuries have marred his career for a number of seasons now. It would be a risk to give him a contract, even if he is available on a free.
There are also doubts about his ability to influence matches in the top flight. He didn’t have a great impact at Palace, but he is clearly well liked by Graeme Jones.
That will be one of the reasons we look to bring him to the North East, it seems, however I struggle to see how he adds to the alarming lack of pace and dynamism in our engine room.
It won’t be a move that excites supporters, but it is crucial that we start to make progress in the transfer window soon.