Last month, The Telegraph released a big ‘exclusive’ on Newcastle United’s summer transfer budget, claiming Eddie Howe will have ‘£60m’ to spend.
The report stated that this could be boosted by player sales, but insisted that the people they’d spoken to at Newcastle United insisted that “pragmatic ambition” would be shown – ruling out any superstar arrivals for silly fees this summer.
A few weeks on, Sky Sports duo Jeff Stelling and Paul Merson have been discussing these surprise claims emerging from Tyneside.
Stelling wonders if it’s a ‘smokescreen’ and early message to selling clubs that we won’t be taken for a ride, while Merson fears fans will be left disappointed if such reports are true – insisting top players now cost upwards of £40m alone.
Read the full transcript below from their conversation on Gillette Soccer Saturday:
“Talking about them spending, the club said this week, they are only going to spend ‘£60 million in the summer’. Is that a smokescreen? Or is it to lower expectations from fans? Or players? Agents?”
“You will be disappointed if you are a Newcastle fan and they are only going to spend £60 million. It won’t get you anywhere. In this day and age, if you aren’t getting bought for £40 million, then you are a pretty average player.”
“They are talking about three or four better players.”
“Really, wow. For £60 million?! Nah.”
“One of the reasons they quote is ‘to keep a grip on the financial situation’.”
Who knows, The Telegraph could be way off on this one, but our alleged approach of ‘quality over quantity’ can only stretch so far if we have little over £60m to spend on three or four quality first-team signings.
With at least one centre-back needed, Targett likely to be signed for £15m at left-back, a new defensive midfielder said to be of interest and several additions needed to add both quality and additional cover in attack, we’ll have to hope our summer spend is significantly more.
If not, it’s little wonder we’ve been linked with a host of high-profile players set to be available on free transfers in a few months time!