The summer to-do list at NUFC as new owners enter mammoth few months

It’s been an incredible eight months on Tyneside, seeing us go from Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce and impending relegation to ambitious new owners, Eddie Howe and only narrowly missing out on a top 10 finish.

2022 has been a year to remember so far, and it looks set to go from strength to strength as we approach what promises to be a huge summer off the field at St James’ Park.

Here, we look at some of the issues that need to be addressed and key moves our new owners – alongside new sporting director Dan Ashworth – could and should make over the coming months.

1. Add quality in attack

If Callum Wilson stayed fit, I’m confident he’d score between 15 and 20 goals in a ever-improving Newcastle United side that will be looking to break into the top 10 and beyond this coming season.

However, in his two full seasons on Tyneside, he’s only played 44 Premier League games out of a possible 76. He’s reliable in front of goal when fit and an absolute handful too, but his battles with injuries mean we must sign at least one striker this summer.

Dwight Gayle needs to go and Chris Wood is likely to take up the sort of role Daryl Murphy took in the Championship from this point onwards, so signing a senior striker alongside the young and versatile Hugo Ekitike could be a vital move to add guaranteed goals to an attack that tends to look a little blunt without our current number nine.

A quality right winger capable of delivering big numbers could also transform our forward line and take us to the next level, with links to Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby and Leeds’ Raphinha pointing to exactly what we need in that area of the pitch.

2. Shift deadwood and sell smart

There are too many players currently on our books who are either not good enough, way down the pecking order or long-serving pros who need to move on for everyone’s sake.

The likes of Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Jeff Hendrick and Dwight Gayle need to go, whilst it may be the right time for Isaac Hayden, Federico Fernandez and Karl Darlow to depart after all three have found game time hard to come by at stages of their career where they’ll want to be playing.

Not only would this raise funds – albeit not much – it would create space for new signings, bring the wage bill down and avoid awkward decisions for Eddie Howe when he comes to select his 25-man squad ahead of the new 2022/23 season.

We’ve rarely sold at the right time in recent years, so selling smartly will also be key, with the likes of Jamaal Lascelles and Freddie Woodman striking me as players who could be worth moving on this summer. Miguel Almiron is another, with some of the best soccer betting sites in the USA backing him to return to the MLS if there’s no takers in Italy, Spain or England.

On the flip side, selling Allan Saint-Maximin isn’t something I’m keen on unless someone arrives with silly money. This particular exit rumour isn’t one I’m enjoying as I feel he needs a full season under Howe and still has so much to offer, so hopefully some clarity can be offered on his future ASAP.

3. Secure sponsorship deals

It’s easily forgotten given how much this area of the club was neglected by Mike Ashley, but securing lucrative sponsorship deals will be key to our spending – both this summer and in future transfer windows to come.

Who knows who they’ll strike deals with – Saudi Golf have been mentioned after CEO Majed Al Sorour joined the board last month – however this could take our finances to the next level, enabling us to show ambition in the transfer market while staying within FFP regulations.

5. Sign a top centre-back

Dan Burn has been outstanding and Fabian Schar has been superb since Howe came in, but it’s been clear for several months now that we’re looking to bring in a quality centre-back.

Diego Carlos has gone to Aston Villa and it remains to be seen who’ll win the race for Sven Botman, who appears to be our top target in this department.

Whether we end up with the latter or have to look elsewhere, this is an area where fresh blood, athleticism and the ability to carry the ball out of the back would be much welcomed.

Not only would an injection of class help us play the Eddie Howe way, we may need more than one new centre-back if the likes of Fernandez, Clark and Lascelles move on.

6. Support Elliot Anderson’s development

It was always clear from U23 games I attended that Elliot Anderson had something special, but his loan spell at Bristol Rovers made so many sit up and take note of the 19-year-olds talent!

He is a special player who must be managed carefully over the coming months. Howe will almost certainly hand him a chance to impress over pre-season, so it’ll be very interesting to see what comes next.

If he’s loaned out again, we must find the right club at the right level, especially when too many of our youngsters have endured damaging and poorly thought out moves away in recent years.

If he stays, a path to regular game time must be clear, as it could harm him, not help him, to spend most of the season sat on the bench, albeit it at Premier League level.

7. Discover more Bruno’s

Last but certainly not least, it would be great to see the club use Bruno Guimaraes’ arrival as a blue print for future business.

By that I mean targeting young gems who have bundles of quality and bags of character who buy into this exciting new project at St James’ Park.

The Brazilian wants to become a ‘legend’ on Tyneside. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring in others who arrive with his passion, spark and determination to take the Premier League by storm in a black and white shirt!

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

227 thoughts on “The summer to-do list at NUFC as new owners enter mammoth few months

  1. So now Arsenal are at it. £35m midfielder on their way to the gooners. City have brought in, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal are already underway with improvements to their squads.

    Our squad was/is already well behind all of theirs, yet we are nowhere near bringing in any of the 5 or 6 players we need to improve our squad.

    We need to get going!!. We need to be decisive!!. If Botman & Ekitike don’t fancy it – move on!!.

    There are plenty of other options. These 2 are good players, but they aren’t the only ones.

    Howe has had to do everything in a rush since he’s came in to get us safe. Let’s give him a chance with players in earlier.

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  2. Good summary Olly.

    I dont know why Ekitike would even consider PSG. He is not getting in the team ahead of MBappe, Messi and Neymar. It would just be a waste of a couple of years playing 10 minutes as a Sub and French Cup games. He would be PSG’s Dwight Gayle.

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  3. Eric Sykes:
    Good summary Olly.

    I dont know why Ekitike would even consider PSG. He is not getting in the team ahead of MBappe, Messi and Neymar. It would just be a waste of a couple of years playing 10 minutes as a Sub and French Cup games. He would be PSG’s Dwight Gayle.

    I hear you and do wonder how game time would work at PSG, but when you’re French and the biggest club in France come in for you, it must turn your head – especially when he’d be playing with Messi, Neymar and Mbappe every day!

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  4. I was also thinking about worrying about a 20 year-old moving to a different country. I think it depends on his support system. But most kids move to a different city when they are 18-19 and go to University. I think Messi went to Barca when he was 8. Jude Bellingham left for Dortmund when he was 16 I think.

    It is still a bit of a worry but might be overblown.

    NUFC fans do become fixated on transfers and this has only got worse with Twitter. If it didnt happen yesterday then some are like “screw him, let’s move on”!

    There are 71 days left of the transfer window which closes 11pm Sept 1.

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  5. Olly – dead right, and if it’s anything like the PL, he’d only have to play in 5 league games to get his winners medal.
    He play the tin pot cup games to rest the big guns, and get the odd run out in the CL.

    It also depends on his character. If he’s a French Jesse Lingard, he’ll happily go sit on a bench.

    Downie reckons he’s coming for a medical next week so we will see 🤷🏼‍♂️.

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  6. See how fast things change! One minute Ekitike is off to PSG and the next he is coming to NUFC for a medical! And meanwhile on twitter and blogs you have the kneejerks of “let’s just move on” reacting to every claim either way.

    It used to be just The Chronic and maybe you bought one national newspaper. Now every Tom, D!ck and Harry has an opinion (including me 🙂 ) and you have instant access to all papers and all sports news.

    I used to deliver The Chronicle when I was a kid to pay for my NUFC tickets. You used to have people waiting for the delivery to catch up on the latest from SJP and watching Look North for more information. Now with the instant access you also have instant reaction and it is usually hyperbolic, U-turns and about-faces from one minute to the next.

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  7. The impression I get it we obviously seem to want the lad.
    Niems know that he’s a player that can bring them in some decent cash – which is key to their business.
    They also seem switched on to the fact he’s not grown into his body yet & is getting those injuries players his age get going through that process – he may get through them fine, but they may leave a last issue .. therefore nows the time to cash in.

    We want him, they want to sell, but it seems the lad isn’t convinced.

    Same goes for Botman, and I understand it to a degree – particularly when there’s clubs like PSG, Dortmund and Milan showing interest too.

    But we have to decide is it worth waiting for these young inexperienced player albeit with bags of potential, or do we turn to other players 🤷🏼‍♂️.

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  8. When it comes to Botman, I’d walk
    away if we could get Dan-Axel Zagadou on a free. He’s just left Dortmund.

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  9. Olly – it’s dead right, our first 10 fixtures offer the chance to get points on the board early & keep this seasons good feeling going.

    But that’s why I think it’s important to get our transfer business done early in the window – not all of it but the bulk ideally.

    He doesn’t want to still be bedding new KEY players in when the season kicks off because they haven’t had a proper pre season with us.

    They’ve booked some good competitive fixtures for pre season so get the new players in for those.

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  10. Site issues still not resolved I see.
    Hope we are not gonna spend all window messing around trying to convince 2 players to come here.

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  11. On an entirely political matter, how bad must things be in the UK for BoJo that his sanctuary has become a war zone???.

    He got his lockdown fine & jetted off to Kiev, and the day after his ethics advisor quit the bags are packed again.

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  12. Pogba has a docu-series on Amazon. It runs for 5 episodes of 30 mins. I watched the first 20 mins and it was pretty much an infomercial for his “brand”. I know what he is trying to do, put himself in the same bracket as Michael Jordan and Beckam. Honestly though, I dont think he has the talent or production and is vastly overrated. And it is in French with subtitles so I dont know who will have the patience to watch it. Not me!!!

    Pogba’s fame is something I really cannot comprehend. He had 1 decent season in 6 at Man U and even then the stats were padded by pens. If I was a Man U fan I would resent this series and would also have driven him to the airport myself.

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  13. I was looking at our midfield, do we have the quality and quantity?

    Bruno – I think he is 1st choice.

    Joelinton – was he a flash in the pan when converted to midfield? I dont think he will be but PL managers will have had a chance to target his weaknesses this year. I think he took them by surprise last year.

    Willock – seems to be the forgotten man in any discussion of midfielders but could he be box to box. Seemed lost at the start of the season but was getting his confidence back under Eddie.

    Longstaff – Eddie seems to like him. Was he Bruced? Can Eddie un-Bruce him?

    Shelvey – rejuvenated under Eddie but I think he is most vulnerable to transfer because of his age. If we got James Ward Prowse for example, I think Shelvey would be gone.

    I reckon we are short an attacking midfielder unless Willock really bounces back. That would give us more balance and is why we are all so excited about the possibility of Paqueta.

    I reckon it is hard to judge the players from the Bruce era because they were all asked to play as defenders. It wasnt just the final 8 games either. He played that way before and we got extremely lucky to pick up the points we did. I dont care what he says about needing to play that way or what the pundits said, we watched every week and we were dour and lucky.

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  14. On Ward-Prowse, I dont think it is an exaggeration to say he is the best corner taker in the PL. I think this might give us an edge against the teams we have done crap against lately, especially Spurs and Man City. We typically havent had much of the ball against them so need to take advantage of set pieces. Plus Man City do their tactical fouling to get men back so someone who can be precise from half way would be useful.

    Then there are teams like Leeds who are just shyte from corners.

    We have a lot of big lads who we can send up for corners. There’s the centre backs of course but I think Bruno is 6ft, Joelinton 6-2 and Sean is 6-2. Even though he doesnt really look it, I think Willock is 6ft.

    Then you have the forwards. Wilson is only 5-11 but is a good header of the ball and gets in the right position. Even Ekitike, even though skinny, is 6-2. And later in games there is Wood.

    I am not as worried as I once was when Shelvey and Longstaff were taking set pieces, but it would be another option.

    HOWEVER AT S’TON’S ASKING PRICE I THINK THERE IS NO CHANCE WE GET HIM 🙂 We will rely on Tripps and Targett which is a lot better than before and my point about all of our big lads still stands.

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  15. I dont care if our full-backs and wingers are [email protected] because in the absence of JWP they should be taking the corners or be there for a short corner.

    My only problem then is who do we keep back to prevent a quick break? Remember Bruce, he would send EVERYBODY up if we were chasing a game and would turn a loss into a slaughter. I remember a couple of games this happened in particular – Leeds and Brighton.

    Sorry to talk tactics but I think the 2 transfers have been talked to death and it was impossible to talk tactics under Bruce because you always knew that they would be 9-0-1 with a hoof or asking Maxi to beat the whole team.

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  16. I will continue my one man blog assault. I dont think last year’s top 6 will be after the same players as us even though they have been given substantial budgets.

    Man City – most likely done, and dont need anybody.

    Liverpool – same as City and should have won the CL.

    Chelsea – they need defenders, we dont. Will replace Lukaku but the new boy will probably be out of our league anyway.

    Spurs – supposedly have 200 mil but their priority is defense and maybe 1 more midfielder.

    Arsenal – their league position flattered them. Supposedly have 175 mil but their owners are notoriously cheap. Desperately need to replace Aubamayang and Lacazette’s 30 goals so might make a big splash for a name forward and then shop in the bargain bin. Their defense is shyte as well as evidenced by Holding still playing for them.

    Man U – let’s face it they need players in every position and have money to burn. Ten Hag will probably 1st look to Ajax. However, their supporters will not be satisfied looking at the players we are after. Not even Paqueta, because they already have the 2nd best Bruno in the PL playing in that position and gave him a new contract.

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  17. Eric Re Midfielders
    I agree, Bruno, Big Joe and Little Joe are all decent players.
    We may be able to get a tune our of Shelvey and Longstaff, but I have my doubts
    Which is only 5 when we need six. I think we could count Miggy as an ACM / 10 he’s not a winger.
    I personally think we need two new CM both an ACM and a DCM
    ACM Paqueta or Eriksen or even Fekir
    DCM Sangare would be nice
    Not convinced JWP improves our dead ball taking enough to justify the rest of his game, no better than Longstaff

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  18. Prem mate, I have thought it through and I think JWP is a massive risk for us at anything close to 50 mil. At that price we have to play him and although he is quite high energy I dont think he is suited to the high press that Eddie seems to want to play. He would be a square peg in a round hole even though he is a good player.

    A bit like Man U and Ronaldo. If they want to play high press then a 38 year old Ronaldo is not yer man even though he will get you 15 goals even at his age.

    I will go back to Pogba again because he is the poster-boy for square peg in many round holes. Man U didnt know where to play him but still tried because of his fee and (wrong) superstar status.

    If we get JWP he could be our Pogba (white elephant).

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  19. And I agree with Prem again that JWPs set pieces are not enough of an upgrade to justify missing out on other players we could buy for the same money. I said before that we are now set at corners. We have Tripps for direct free kicks, but, hell I would also give Bruno a go. he seems like he has it all so why not give him the JWP role 🙂

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  20. There is news that the Man U CEO met fans in a pub and said some interesting things. He met them there because they were planning to go to his house to protest. That is simply not on!!! Why bring his family into it? There are other examples:

    Everton Fans went to Rafa’s house, but got the wrong house.

    Anti-Saudi activists went to Shearer’s house but he had moved.

    There was a march planned to Charnley’s house a few years ago. Someone on Eds published his address. I had an argument on there with that person saying that was out of order and why bring his family into it.

    These are examples that I know of and I am sure there are many more for clubs I do not follow. It is an alarming trend. They say it is peaceful, but it only takes 1 nutter…

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  21. I think spending 50 mil (or 60) each on Paqueta and Diaby is a much better option than going for Botman and Ekitike who are totally unproven. At least the 1st 2 have a track record, with Paqueta in the Brazil side.

    Spend a bit less on a CB, say 20 mil and do some wheeling and dealing for a backup goalie and we would be set.

    The total spend including Targett would be about 135 mil if we offload Miggy and a few others.

    I would even keep Shelvey for another season as long as he doesnt demand to start every week.

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  22. I am not saying we should withdraw from the Botman and Ekitike chases, I am saying it looks to me like there are better options out there – IF THEY WILL COME.

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  23. Eric Sykes:
    I am not saying we should withdraw from the Botman and Ekitike chases, I am saying it looks to me like there are better options out there – IF THEY WILL COME.

    they are saying toon having a lot of trouble shifting players out

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  24. There are rumours that Jesus might go to Arsenal and Sterling to Chelsea. Somebody has to tell me why they would want to boost their rivals, especially when they dont need the money? I think we should make a bid for Jesus. He might come here, there is no chance Sterling would though.

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  25. Prem: but it is crazy mate on the part of Man City. What if Arsenal get back into the CL and City face their ex-player? Chelsea and Sterling is even more nuts. It is only a year ago that Chelsea pipped City to the CL. Why would you help out a rival. I would just refuse to sell to them, whatever the player and his Agent think.

    As I said, City dont need the money.

    Think back to Chris Wood. We needed a a stop-gap striker but it also hurt a relegation rival. And guess what, Burnley were relegated.

    Imagine if Sterling scored the goal to knock Man City out of the CL. I would be p!ssed off if I was a fan of City.

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  26. I know the same could happen if they were sold to say Bayern, but you dont have to face the ex-players in the PL or have them help Arsenal or Chelsea get more points. They are still sort of rivals, especially with Chelsea who were pretty close to City and Liverpool in the 1st half of last season.

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  27. Castore will be happy. Fitzpatrick just won the US Open with their logo on his shirt.

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  28. I know we all want business done early & to get these players in, but a genuine question – how long is too long??.

    I know none of us know what’s going on in the background, and I expect if we are still pursuing Ekitike & Botman they must think there’s a chance.

    But the longer this drags on, the more I think if these players do sign it’s not down to desire of playing for NUFC – it’s a purely business deal & those ones tend to result in the players agents looking for another club.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these fans the pundits speak of where I think Newcastle is a huge club that will win every thing & every player would be lucky to play for us.

    But I do want to sign players that respect the club and see us as an opportunity to play for a very good PL club, to play in the best league in the world – if they play well it may lead to bigger & better things … but earn your stripes!!.

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  29. “I think spending 50 mil (or 60) each on Paqueta and Diaby is a much better option than going for Botman and Ekitike who are totally unproven”
    Totally agree Eric. It’s quality we need not potential or numbers. There’s also the loan market offering other options.

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  30. It’s a difficult debate that one because you are talking about a midfielder and a right winger versus a centre back and striker – it depends on what Howe feels he needs most.

    I’d argue that Botman at least has that experience and quality. He’s played regular for Lille & in the CL.

    I’d also argue that none are proven in the PL. We have seen plenty who tear it up in other leagues but struggle in the PL. At £50-60m a piece they are all a risk.

    The truth is we need to strengthen in all 4 areas – which doesn’t help much 🙄🤦🏼‍♂️.

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  31. The flip side to my ‘how long is too long’ question is that IF we don’t get these players, whoever we go after next knows they aren’t our preferred option – so how does that motivate that player?!.

    It feels like we have pinned everything on Botman & Ekitike – so anyone else must be failure right?.

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  32. It’s rarely mentioned away from Tyneside and the bloody Chron.
    Paqueta can also lay up front.

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  33. Got to agree that i would rather Paqueta and Diably. Can’t understand the hold up on the other two, do they really have a desire to play for us, any hesitation should see us back away imo. Ekitike has had some injuries too, they could be growing into his body injuries that young players get but it does concern me.

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  34. https://www.spotrac.com/epl/newcastle-united-fc/payroll/

    I wonder if the hold up is consideration of the ramifications of signing these players.

    I expect both will want top whack – particularly if they are signing for the richest club in the world 🙄.

    But we put Ekitike on £50k a week let’s say & Botman on £65-75k a week – which is the kind of wages a top 6 club would pay – and look what that would do to the current set up. If those were the wages we paid those 2, how many of the current squad would come looking for a pay rise?!.

    Just a thought.

    PS – is it any wonder we couldn’t get rid of Gayle when on those wages?!?!! …. And who the hell sorted Krafths contract 😦😦

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  35. Sharpy: I am not as worried as you about us being able to shift some of our surplus players. I reckon we could get fees for Shelvey, Lascelles, Gayle, Miggy, Darlow and Murphy if they are indeed surplus and replaced.

    There are teams in the Championship who have money. The parachute payments from this years and last years relegated teams are easily enough to afford Gayle or Ritchie. It is risk and reward. Teams like WBA, Norwich or Burnley would be mad not to pay Gayle for a year on a loan deal or get him for a couple of mil.

    Others like Clark and Hendrick we could loan out and pay some of their wages.

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  36. It’s only a problem if we are trying to make money from selling the players. If all we are trying to do is reduce the number of players on the books, and massage the books then there is no problem.

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  37. So Jabba paid nowt for signage in last 3 seasons and only £1m in previous ones. No wonder we had so little to spend, greedy sod.

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  38. Prem – it’s not the fees, it’s finding a club to pay the wages to get the players to move.

    Gayle as the obvious example would score goals for fun in the championship – but if a championship side can/will only pay him £25-30k a week then is he going to leave or stay sat on our bench … I think last season answered that question.

    I’m not bothered if we let them all go for nowt – I’d wish them all the best of luck. But it’s not as easy as that.

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  39. Gilly Toon:
    Looks more like Ekitike will be getting a medical soon! 🤞

    And now Luke Edwards at The Telegraph is reporting that we’re still having issues RE Ekitike.

    Seems he and Lee Ryder have very different information!

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  40. Sharpy Gayle has two years left on his contract at £2m per year. That is a liability to us of £4m and he has a value according to TM of over £1m.
    If a championship club are willing to pay us £1m and pay him £15kpw that is £1.5 m over two years we can give him a payoff of £2.5 m and still be in profit.
    Rinse and repeat

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  41. Prem – I hope so. We need the squad space and it’s pointless having players taking up those spaces who won’t ever play. We had Gayle in the squad and still spent £25m on Wood coz we didn’t trust Gayle.

    There’s a good 5 or 6 players on the type of wages we may end up having to do that with though.

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  42. Do you think Nick Pope has a relegation clause in his contract? 8-10 mil seems pretty cheap.

    I think it would be a good move. I think Dubs is a very good keeper, but why not have 2? Darlow is not up to it and I have said for years that Woodman was overrated after seeing him for England in the Toulon Tournament which must have been 5 or 6 years ago now.

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  43. I rate Pope highly. He’s a very good keeper. Ramsdale & Pickford get more press because of their ‘personality’ but I think Pope is a better keeper – he just goes about his business more quietly.

    That would be a bargain when you consider their fees as well.

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  44. With Pope and Targett we will have got off to a good start. Getting Ekiteke and Botman after that will not break the bank. Then we will need a statement signing. My preference has always been Chiesa from Juve but I would take Diaby or Paqueta. They all come with a big problem though – they are not sexy enough to sell shirts to the Saudis. There is only one man who fits that bill – Mo Salah.

    How the hell would we get Salah? We could, as a free agent if we have European football next year and Liverpool piss him off in salary negotiations. So we would wait for the shirt sales and “settle” for a future superstar in one of the three I just named.

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  45. I wouldnt worry too much about someone like Salah changing the wage structure. You just give him a massive signing on bonus and then 100k a week.

    I know. Pie in the sky, but our owners have the money to make it happen.

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  46. Pope was always my first pick,but remember he had 8 players defending in front of him and a couple were quite canny players imo
    see we have put a big more cash 6mil ur to Lille for there c/h,lets see what that does

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  47. Ice – funny you should say that, because I was going to suggest Pope could fetch Trakowski with him.

    If we let Clark & Fede go, it leaves us with Schar, Burn & Lascelles – but it’s been reported a few clubs might fancy Lascelles for around £8-10m.

    Regardless if we keep Lascelles or not, we are moving Fede & Clark so 2 out – why not 2 in with Botman & Trakowski. Tark would certainly give that PL experience.

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  48. Tarkowski is no better than Lascelles. No point in in replacing like with like. We need to upgrade. Demiral has been linked. there are others out there.

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  49. Prem – I agree there’s better than Tark, but I think he’s better than Lascelles – certainly less erratic.

    Equally though, if we can sell Lascelles for £10m and bring Tark in for nix, then it’s money in the pot.

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  50. This Ruiz guy is the most credible link so far. A position we definitely need to fill too. Perfect age and experience.
    Wish the Lingard stories would disappear though!

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  51. Magpie 24/7 – Newcastle United
    @Magpie24_7
    ·
    6h
    Former Newcastle striker Louis Saha:

    “I’m surprised Steven Gerrard let Matt Targett go so easily, but when you have a player like him whose desire is to move to a bigger club like Newcastle then you have to respect that”

    Brilliant

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  52. I reckon our statement signing should be Diaby. He isnt going to sell many shirts but he would be along the lines of what Bruno was in January. It then opens up the opportunity to play Ekitike in his preferred position down the middle. What it also does is make Miggy redundant so we could get some of the transfer fee back.

    I listened to James Alcott today who does a general transfer and stats show. He said Memphis Depay doesnt fit at Barca and could be bought for 15-20 mil. That’s not a bad shout. He is still only 28. Some may say he failed at Man U, but everybody failed at Man U and back then their expectations were still sky high. He would be one of their best players now 🙂

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  53. Kimtoon: Pickford won Everton player of the season. From what I saw he deserved it as well. He has a mistake in him, but they all do. I have seen De Gea and Alisson make basic errors. I still worry about his temperament as he acts like a spoilt toddler, but I have to give him some credit as well, even though he is a dirty stinkin’ Mackem.

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  54. Then there is Dubs, who I like. But remember that nightmare game at The Euros where he put the ball in his own net and then let in like 5? None of them are perfect.

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  55. Just a quick example of how well I think the Mackem T-Rex played. Lloris is still the French National ‘Keeper and I dont think Everton would have stayed up if they had him in goal.

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  56. Whether Pope is better than Dubs, I’m not sure.
    Dubs has had no competition recently, well now he has,
    If he ups his game to fend off Pope good luck
    It’s good to have competition again

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  57. No issues with moving on from Ekitike if his agent is playing silly buggers like.

    We are right not to get mucked around – move onto the next as whilst he might have potential, there’s nowt guaranteed with him.
    His injuries are still something of a concern as well.

    Regardless – NEXT!!

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  58. Doesnt look like there is much competition for Ekitike at the price we are willing to pay. We are right to call his Agents bluff as Hugo has not done anything yet to justify the fee we would pay. It is all about potential and I have seen enough money spent on potential at NUFC to be wary. Remember another Hugo? Viana?

    I dont understand how PSG are in the hunt as they must be having FFP issues with the Messi contract and then MBappe. If they bought Ekitike I think they would just loan him back to Lens so that might be what the Agent is fishing for – gets his fee and his client stays where he is for another year?

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  59. Brucie Watch – he has made a couple of good signings at WBA. If he can add Gayle he might even be looking at a playoff spot which will not be fun for me as I was looking forward to a relegation battle.

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  60. Even though I think Man City are mad to be selling Sterling and Jesus to PL rivals I think it may help us. Same with Raphinha to Arsenal. They are filling up slots with players we are not after which might allow us a clean run at other players they might have considered like Paqueta and Diaby. There is only so much money in football at the moment and if Arse, Spurs and Chelsea shoot their load on players we are not looking at then good. They all need defenders anyway, so I think that’s where they look next.

    So, the 3 London clubs looking elsewhere might actually be a blessing in disguise for us even though it will mean more competition. They all said they would spend 200 million, so they were always going to get a few good players. We can move up the food chain and look at probability of success in Paqueta and Diaby, rather than potential success in Ekitike.

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  61. Sticking with Hugos. I remember when we bought Viana that he was considered a dead cert for success. He was European Young Player of the Year. He really never produced anything for us and he went on to have a slightly above average career. I am sure we have done the scouting of Hugo Ekitike but nothing is certain. You just have to look at the Man U academy where they always think they have the next big thing and they almost never pan out. Even Rashford, who looked well on his way seems overrated now.

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  62. And more on Man U and the next big thing. They talk about the class of ’92 incessantly but that was 30 years ago and was a myth anyway. There were really only Scholes and Beckham. Giggs had broken into the team 2 years earlier. GNev was a good pro, Butt was overrated and PNev was sh!t.

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