Perhaps most pointedly, since a niggling calf injury has ruled Remy out of Newcastle’s last few games, the team have not looked anywhere near as potent an attacking force as they have succumbed to heavy defeats to the likes of Everton, Southampton and Manchester United.
Remy is Newcastle’s leading goalscorer this season, with the now-departed Yohan Cabaye the second top scorer in the Barclays Premier League with seven goals. After these two Yoann Gouffran is next on the charts with just 6 goals. No other player in the squad has scored more than three goals in the league this season.
Clearly, Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley will know that with Cabaye gone, losing Remy for next season would be a hugely significant blow for Newcastle and the plainly sensible option here is for Newcastle to open negotiations with Queens Park Rangers, about making Remy’s switch to Newcastle permanent.
Any such deal would likely cost in the region of £25m, with Queens Park Rangers coach Harry Redknapp announcing this week that: “The chances of us (QPR) keeping him are not great if he has got a buy-out clause”.
In the footballing world, this is a Redknapp-ism for “If you pay the price, you can sign the player.” With £20m in their account from the sale of Cabaye, plus an increase in Premier League payments from next season when the new television deal kicks in, Newcastle could likely afford to sign Remy, so what is the problem?
Unfortunately, the problem for Newcastle seems to be that the player himself has little interest in staying on Tyneside.
In the same interview, Redknapp revealed that Remy had reportedly told a French TV show that he wanted to play the 2014/2015 season with a “big European club” and Harry Redknapp confirmed this revealing that “Remy wants to play Champions League football next season, so they tell me.”
In the past Remy has been linked with several other potential buyers. Arsenal and Tottenham were reportedly interested back in March according to the Metro newspaper, with Remy believed to prefer a move to the Gunners, where his idol Thierry Henry once played, over a switch to White Hart Lane.
In addition, Remy is believed to be interesting the likes of Atletico Madrid (who could use part of the money from the potential sale of Diego Costa to fund a move for the Frenchman), Paris St-Germain, Monaco, Dortmund, Valencia, Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan. Although the latter two and Valencia look unlikely destinations given their lack of Champions League football next season.
More intriguingly, if Everton can clinch a Champions League berth ahead of Arsenal and cannot close out a deal for their own on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku with Chelsea, many experts feel that Roberto Martinez may opt to move for Remy instead.
So what are the odds Remy will be wearing a Toon Army shirt next season?
Loic Remy Market – To Sign before the 2nd September 2014
- Everton or Newcastle 4/1 joint favourites
- Tottenham or Arsenal 6/1
- Atletico Madrid 8/1
- PSG, Monaco or Borossia Dortmund 12/1
- Valencia, Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan, Inter Milan 33/1
These odds should give Newcastle fans some hope that Remy could remain at the club on a permanent deal for next season. BetVictor experts seem to believe that Remy’s experience at the club over the current season may be enough of a draw for the Frenchman to sign, even without any European Football next season.
Of course, a great many factors need to be taken into consideration here. Would Newcastle likely be able to offer the wages of a club like Monaco or Paris St-Germain, who are bankrolled by the super-rich? Would they be able to fend off interest from the likes of Everton or Arsenal, if either could offer Champions League football?
It is not like the promise of regular first team football is enough to keep players on Tyneside any longer. PSG spent £20m on Cabaye in the transfer window and Laurent Blanc has used the diminutive midfielder mainly as an expensive substitute since the move. Cabaye has made five starts, but come on six times as a sub in the league and one start and three as a sub in the Champions League. (Source)
Newcastle’s hopes on landing Remy seem to rely on two things: The first is the player’s affiliation with the club and fans after his year on Tyneside. The second is more complicated and depends on whether the club can come up with a financial package and contract that offers Remy a hefty pay increase to match what he would receive elsewhere, plus enough clauses to ensure that if Newcastle can’t offer him Champions League football by next season, he can move to a club that can.
That is the problem that Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew face; it is a risky situation to spend a lot of money, potentially upwards of £20m, on a player who may only be at your club for one season unless you can break into the Champions League places.
So while many fans are wondering if Newcastle cannot risk losing Remy for next season, the flip side of the coin is can they afford the risks that they would need to take to keep him?
And if you are looking for a good value bet for his destination by September 2nd 2014, then those factors would suggest to me that Newcastle are a much longer odds chance than the 4/1 being quoted at present.