There has been widespread news coming out of the French tabloids today that the Reims midfielder, Romain Amalfitano, has finally signed a pre-contract with Newcastle United.
As of yet, there has been no official announcement from either club concerning the deal, but it is obvious from the number of papers reporting the ‘completed deal’, that is as good as done.
Of course, neither Newcastle United nor any other club can actually sign the the fancy Frenchman yet, however it has been mooted for some time that the player may be signing a pre-contract agreement with the club. Curiously though, the length of contract mentioned was three years – not the usual five or six that the club seem to prefer nowadays. Perhaps the reason for the pre contract is that the player will be out of contract with his current club at the end of the season.
We saw this kind of pre-contract deal last summer, with the signing of Lens midfield starlet, Medhi Abeid (then 18), who was signed 2 months before the official start of the Summer Transfer Window which begins on July 1st. It’s an effective way of completing business in that we’re able to ward off heavier attention for the player in the rush, that is the Summer Window.
The 22-year-old midfielder has been on manager Alan Pardew’s radar for several months as he looks to bolster his squad ahead of a potential Champions League campaign.
Danny Guthrie looks set to leave in the Summer, with Aston Villa seeming to be the favourites to snap him up, and naturally, we would need a replacement to fill the resultant gap. In addition, Alan Smith will almost certainly be shifted on come July, and it would be sensible to sign up a young, talented back-up midfielder to provide strong cover for our star midfield quartet.
Predominantly an attacking midfielder, he can also be utilized on either wing. He has become best known for his late runs from midfield and eye for a pass and therefore could certainly provide the attacking trio of Ba, Cisse and Ben Arfa, with well-executed through balls.
Although the story hasn’t been confirmed yet, Graham Carr and his men have been seen in France at some of his matches in the past few months. He has been heavily linked with the club since February and I reckon that the deal, if it has in fact happened, will not be announced until July. Alan Pardew has adhered to respecting other clubs’ privacy in the past, and has never liked to say too much on transfer dealings.
Lets just hope this is another shrewd piece of business by Graham Carr and Newcastle United.