This week, two former Newcastle United transfer targets have reportedly agreed pre-contract negotiations with other clubs: Ricky van Wolfswinkel will join up with Norwich in July in an £8.5m deal, while Wilfried Bony has agreed an £14m move to West Ham.
While it has been official confirmed that van Wolfswinkel will join Norwich, there has not been any official line on the Bony deal, despite strong media coverage on the supposed deal from The Daily Mail, The Mirror and The Sun.
However, assuming both these deals come through, we have to beg the question: why are we not in for these players?
Both strikers have been in electric form this season; while Bony has scored 26 goals in 24 matches this season, a tally rightfully putting him at the top of the goalscoring tables in Holland, van Wolfswinkel has bagged himself 13 goals in Portugal.
Both prices seem to be very reasonable for the form that they’re in at their respective clubs: had they been English, they would be ‘worth’ above and beyond £20m, as we saw with our very own Andy Carroll. Furthermore, without wanting to disrespect either club, I feel that Newcastle would be a much more attractive proposition, in both the standard of football and our position in the lasting hierachal chain of the Premier League (stadium, tradition, fans).
Therefore, either we’ve been caught off guard by the two deals or our transfer intentions have changed.
There’s no doubt that we are in need of a new striker this Summer in order to supplement Papiss Cisse in attacking options. And with the devastating departure of Nile Ranger, we are even more in need of a man who has that unrelenting hunger for the net.
There is evidently no need for two big-money striker signings, and therefore we have perhaps already set our sights on our next Demba Ba. The man most likely to fill that position is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Having tracked him relentlessly throughout January, we couldn’t quite force a deal through. Whether we can attract the player to Tyneside ahead of the inevitably increasing interest for him in the Summer is another question.
It appears as though the most effective way to sign a player at the moment is to get in there early. We seem to have bypassed these two huge opportunities, so I hope that there is some reason behind it.
All we can hope for now is that Pardew and Llambias know what they’re doing. We’ve made mistakes in the past, and to miss out on all of these players, for their respectively reasonable prices, it would be a real missed opportunity.
Comments Welcome. Out of the three rumoured strikers, who would you most have like to have seen at the club?