Without being a negative Nelly, because there are positives to take from this inflated window, Newcastle won’t be signing their top summer targets.
In an interview on Sky Sports, the man himself Rafa Benitez confirmed that the club failed to get their first targets and instead were looking in different directions.
Quotes shown below:
“It is very hard because the prices are crazy. We missed some targets at the beginning and we are paying for that, but hopefully we can find some solutions.
I am not happy [with transfer negotiations] but for me it is a challenge. I want to do my best. Every manager wants to improve and have better players, but at the same time, I am happy with the players I have because the team spirit was good last season and hopefully we can replicate that.”
Whether it was down to player or club decisions, or penny-pinching from Lee Charnley and co remains to be seen or confirmed, it’s merely speculation at this point. However, one thing is certain, the club have continued to work very hard behind the scenes to get deals “over the line”.
Newcastle have made three quiet additions in Merino, Manquillo and the soon to be Kennedy which all look to be a coup. Merino was rated as the 5th best signing of the window according to football magazine FourFourTwo and has looked stellar in the cameos he has made in pre-season.
Admittedly, I was sceptical about the signing of former Sunderland loanee Manquillo, however, he too has impressed in pre-season and looks set to start ahead of the injured DeAndre Yedlin in the first game of the season. It goes to show what can be made of a player under a top manager.
Kenedy, aside from his antics in China, which seem blown out of proportion by the media, may also be another solid signing with the player able to play in as many as four positions. Something Rafa will enjoy exploiting as the season progresses with injuries and rotation.
In a window where Andre Gray is valued at £18million with a year left on his contract and Ben Gibson valued around £30million, Newcastle have done well for a newly promoted team and I believe they will bring in the bodies they need to survive in their first season back.
Sadly we could only say what “could have been” had Newcastle thumped up the money for loan fees or wages. Tammy Abraham seemed to be Benitez’s number one striker, only to be snatched away by Swansea as Chelsea saw our apparent night life as a distraction. I’m sure everyone knows that Wales has no night life of course… But regardless, Newcastle moved on quickly to other targets. Most recently in the likes of Lucas Perez and the long standing target in Michy Batsuhuayi. Sadly, in my opinion, I don’t see either player making the move to Tyneside this window.
No Andros Townsend return
Recent reports shown in the media have suggested Rafa is furious with Lee Charnley about the lack of interest in bidding for the former winger. However, I believe what interest we had in the target died before the start of the window. It is no secret Rafa liked the player and would have loved him back on Tyneside. However, the player is clearly settled back in his London home and seems to have a big role under new manager Frank De Boer this season.
Michy Batshuayi will have a role to play for Chelsea this season
More of a hopeful signing by fans rather than a target pursued by Benitez, although if made available United would be the first in line for a loan deal. However, due to the late arrival of Alvaro Morata, a £75 million deal from Real Madrid, the player has to adjust to life in the Premier League.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has claimed the player’s fitness isn’t up to scratch. Therefore Batshuayi, who shone in pre-season with three goals, will possibly be given the nod for the first couple of game weeks at least, having impressed Conte who started him in the Community Shield last week.
Lucas Perez situation as it stands
As it stands, it is reported by various media outlets that United and other clubs simply won’t match Arsenal’s valuation of €13million. This, I don’t buy from our club. If Rafa wanted him, he would tell Charnley where to put the money as a striker is Newcastle’s big priority at the moment.
The stumbling block to this move, however, is the player simply wishes to return to his homeland. Former club Deportivo La Coruna are the only club to have tabled a bid to buy at present and their president Tino Fernandez has expressed how desperate they are to sign him. Quotes from Galicia en Goles, a Spanish radio show are shown below:
“Nothing is impossible, but we have a limit. I never mention figures but we have done all that Deportivo can, even making a big effort because of the importance that I believe Lucas can have in this team next season.
This is a very difficult negotiation but if I didn’t think there was a chance I would say so. If we are still in the race [to sign him] it’s because we believe there is a possibility. We will continue to fight because the truth is that he [Lucas Perez] is looking forward to joining us”.
Despite Benitez admitting he’s an admirer and reportedly having talks with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about Perez, I believe this is another target to scratch off the list. I would love to see Perez sign for Newcastle but like Abraham, it’s a public transfer story that’s continued for a couple of weeks now with no real movement.
I think the striker Newcastle desperately need will appear from under the media’s nose like the Merino deal. Hopefully, Rafa will not have a repeat of the last transfer window, as various new articles like to point out for clickbait and views.
But in short, only time will tell if the positives outweigh the negatives. We’ve had a better window than some teams so far (I’m looking at you Spurs). Hopefully, we can beat Sissoko and company on Sunday, who are also struggling in this crazy market.