I ask this question for many reasons. We have the ridiculous number of players NUFC have already been linked with, those they consistently get linked with and those names that we’re not yet aware of but will no doubt surface in the coming days.
Is a deal for Ekitike really ‘agreed’ as a few reasonably reputable outlets are being quoted as saying? Does Botman have a straight choice between AC Milan and Newcastle? What of Moussa Diaby? He went from our ‘priority target’ and a player we were set to bid £55m for (L’Equipe) to no longer being pursued (The Telegraph) in a matter of days!
Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara and Phillipe Coutinho were all reported big Newcastle targets and have ended up at Villa. Big names continue to be linked – Yannick Carrasco’s name has appeared on gossip columns this week – but is he REALLY a target? I doubt it.
The funny thing is, you can bet your bottom dollar we end up signing someone out of the blue. Just look at January. We were literally linked with hundreds of names that month, yet the four we ended up with came largely out of nowhere.
Back to this summer, I have no doubt Botman and Ekitike are two players we are pursuing. That seems clear based on long-standing interest and widespread reports, but it’s incredible how many claims and counter-claims are out there. One minute Botman is on his way to Newcastle, the next AC Milan. One minutes we’ve all but agreed a fee and AC Milan have walked away, the next Milan are his favoured option and confident he’ll sign.
As for Ekitike, we’ve seen that deal go from ‘fee agreed’ and move all but done, to the majority of outlets saying there’s still work to be done due to discussions over agent fees and payment structure. If the latter is true, why say a deal has been agreed?! It’s not done until it’s done, but the constant running commentary is needed, it seems.
The blog does a great job of bringing all the rumours and reports together in one place, but I can’t keep up!
So, one wonders. These agents that tout their players around, Clubs that want certain players off their books and players themselves that let contracts expire to allow them to move on. Are they all just playing a game?
Perhaps some are not, in reality, targets for certain clubs, including ours. Perhaps the rumours, conjecture and feelings are put out about certain players so certain other Clubs will jump and take them instead. Thus leaving that ‘rejected’ Club to look elsewhere and land the player they probably wanted in the first place!
I don’t know. Honestly I don’t. I’m probably one of the least ITK’s around! But it does seem to me that often names and links are thrown around with joyful abandon, not least of which by people who not only should know better, they will know better! But what they also know is that it’s there in the public eye.
Which mean people look and react. That way sometimes perhaps a player ends up at a Club that has never been linked with him in the run up to him signing. Seems plausible to me to manipulate, manoeuvre and mix things up.
So in reality, whilst everyone thinks they know who wants whom, in fact they don’t as the Club suddenly signs someone else and then state he’s the one they’ve wanted from Day one.
Transfers are a very strange thing. Some go through in days some seem to take forever but whatever and how anyone ends up anywhere seems very much like the major players playing a very daring and risky game to me.