Newcastle set to strengthen squad with several summer swoops
Newcastle United are once again stuck in a rut. The Tyneside outfit may still be heavily odds-on at 1/6 with Coral for a top 10 finish, but they have recorded just a single victory since manager Alan Pardew earned a lengthy touchline ban for headbutting Hull City’s David Meyler.
Their season has, to all intents and purposes, petered out. Long-serving target man Shola Ameobi has come out and defended Pardew, but also stressed the need to strengthen.
“We need quality players and we need a quality squad as well,” Ameobi, who is out of contract at St James’ Park this summer, said. “That is something the club have to put right for next season.
“We have limited resources at the moment and when we lose one or two key players it hurts the team badly. That is what the manager has had to put up with, unfortunately.”
And lost one or two key players Newcastle have for the second half of the campaign. Playmaker Yohan Cabaye was sold to PSG in January, while loan star striker Loic Remy has struggled with injury and missed matches through suspension in recent months.
What names are being linked with the Magpies, then? The local press claims Newcastle have been offered Monaco top scorer Emmanuel Riviere for a cut price £4.5 million.
The 24-year-old, who in the absence of Radamel Falcao has netted 13 in all competitions for Claudio Ranieri’s resurgent club, is not thought to be top striking target on Tyneside, however.
Lyon frontman Alexandre Lacazette, who has 20 for the campaign, and Spanish second-tier star Ayoze Perez of Tenerife are both reportedly in the frame. There could also be a controversial free transfer for Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback, if the Toon’s bitter rivals are relegated.
Other reports link Benfica attacking midfielder Filip Djuricic, who has been used sparing in their title winning campaign in Portugal, with Newcastle again, after they failed to land him in January. Dutch Eredivisie outfit PSV Eindhoven and Scottish champions Celtic are also interested.
The Magpies must also fend off competition from neighbours Sunderland to land £4m-rated Sporting Lisbon winger Diego Capel, who may be moved on from the Portuguese giants this summer.
Pardew’s men travel to Arsenal next on April 28th, but are massive 9/1 outsiders to come away from the Emirates with three points.