Amid speculation circling over recent weeks, it would appear that Newcastle will stop at nothing to add another striker to their ranks. Despite having bagged French star Loic Remy on loan, it seems Alan Pardew’s work isn’t quite finished yet.
Two targets in particular have reached the headlines. The first and most prominent of them is Willian, the Brazilian winger currently at Russian side Anzhi, who are looking to offload some their big name squad members (Samuel Eto’o included) to resolve their current financial troubles.
The ferociously fast forward has become a popular focus for Premier League clubs this summer, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham all expressing interest in the Brazilian. This has not appeared to discourage Newcastle’s efforts though, who look confident of hijacking Liverpool’s £15 million bid.
News came in this morning via the Daily Mirror of Liverpool’s 15 million pound attempt, making the Reds the favourites to sign the forward. However, the article also reported that the Magpies are planning a last minute effort to snatch the 25-year-old, with Joe Kinnear looking to resume talks before Monday’s match against Manchester City.
The other target at the tip of Toon tongues is out-of-favour Juventus striker Alessandro Matri. The Italian hitman has been officially been put up for transfer by the Serie A giants, and Newcastle are keen to talk to the player’s agent according to reports by Metro.
Sunderland and Everton have also declared their interest in the 29-year-old who, despite ranking below Mirko Vučinić and on-loan Nicolas Anelka last season, managed to net 10 goals in 35 games. These two clubs have failed to reach the player’s £6 million price tag, but the almighty Toon are more than willing to match it, especially after unsuccessful attempts to sign Darren Bent (now at Fulham) and Lyon powerhouse Batefimbi Gomis.
Who do the Magpies want the most and whose services are they most likely to obtain?
If Kinnear does indeed overtake Liverpool and manage to convince Willian to join the black and white striped Geordies, they would be adding some considerable talent to their squad. Moreover, £15 million would be a bargain considering it cost Anzhi double that 6 months ago to get him from Shaktar Donetsk. The Brazilian is an extremely gifted footballer and seeing as he is the most sought after, he would be Newcastle’s most preferred acquisition in my opinion.
However, given that Liverpool are already on the verge of sealing the deal and Willian has plenty of alternative paths to take, Matri would appear to be the most likely to sign on. He’s on the market, he’s much cheaper, and Newcastle are already the favourites to snatch him up.
Apart from that, Matri possesses the attributes necessary to give that much desired spark to Pardew’s side.