Meanwhile, Arsenal and Manchester United have confirmed the signings of Petr Cech and Memphis Depay, respectively, as they try to compete with Chelsea for the title.
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s Newcastle United. Under John Carver, the Magpies slid down the Premier League table and were fortunate to avoid relegation after a torrid second half of the campaign.
This season, however, Newcastle supporters are filled with renewed optimism after the appointment of Steve McClaren and supporters will be expecting the Magpies to finish in the top half of the division.
At the time of writing, betfair are offering 11/4 on Newcastle to finish in the Premier League’s top 10 this term and, at the very least, they will stand a reasonable chance of improving on their 15th-placed finish with a couple of signings. There are plenty of Newcastle United transfer rumours flying about – some genuine, others false – and we have taken a look at some of the key players who may be on the move to St James’ Park this summer.
Could Charlie Austin be Steve McClaren’s first signing as Newcastle United manager?
The Queens Park Rangers striker, who netted 18 goals in the top flight last season, has been linked with a move to Newcastle this summer and could well be Steve McClaren’s first major signing as manager. Austin is an exceptional finisher and is capable of scoring from almost any angle in the 18-yard box.
Although he is primarily right-footed, the striker scored goals with his left foot, as well as his head in a sensational season at Loftus Road. Unfortunately for QPR, his goals couldn’t keep the club in the Premier League and the forward – who was called up to the England squad for fixtures against the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia – has pushed for a transfer this summer.
According to reports, QPR have placed a £15 million price tag on the striker and the Magpies may have direct competition from Leicester City after the Foxes placed a £12 million bid last week. Newcastle should strongly consider coughing up the money for Austin, especially if he can replicate last season’s form at St James’ Park.
The Magpies have also been linked with a move for Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost this summer
If McClaren misses out on Austin, or simply chooses not to sign the QPR forward, then Netherlands international Bas Dost could be an ideal candidate for Newcastle to sign. The player, who scored 19 goals in 35 appearances last season, remains a potent threat in front of goal and, as of March 2nd 2015, he was the most effective striker in Bundesliga history – netting 13 goals in 819 minutes, meaning that he averaged a goal every 63 minutes. Although this ratio is exceptional, many will compare the striker directly to Austin and claim that Bas Dost’s achievements aren’t as good due to the fact that he was playing in the Bundesliga.
Furthermore, Wolfsburg have reportedly valued the Dutchman at £30 million. That is a fee that is considerably higher than what Newcastle would be willing to pay – especially considering they could secure Austin for half of that fee. If the Magpies fail to secure Austin, they could produce a desperate bid in an attempt to sign the forward later in the summer.
Will Marco van Ginkel snub Sunderland to move to St James’ Park?
The Black Cats have been linked with the youngster throughout the summer and, according to reports, Dick Advocaat’s side are extremely interested in signing the midfielder. The Chelsea midfielder, who spent last season on loan at AC Milan, wants a return to England’s top flight as he looks to impress Jose Mourinho on a more regular basis. Although Sunderland have shown an interest in Van Ginkel, there are rumours that Newcastle could be preparing a move for the youngster and it would make for an interesting decision if the two rival clubs pushed for a move.
The Netherlands international has featured twice for his country but will be looking for regular first-team football ahead of next summer’s European Championship. Although reports suggest that Sunderland are in the driving seat regarding a move for the midfielder, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Magpies nip in for the 22-year-old under Sunderland’s noses.
Newcastle United target Aleksandar Mitrovic has travelled with Anderlecht for a pre-season training camp
The Serbian international, who was first linked with a move to St James’ Park back in November, is certainly on Newcastle’s radar and McClaren is reportedly a big fan of the young Anderlecht striker. Mitrovic has scored 36 goals in 65 league games in Belgium and may earn a deserved move to one of Europe’s top competitions this summer. According to the press, Benfica, Porto and Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur are interested in the prospect, but Mitrovic has confirmed that he is happy at his current club.
It is believed that Anderlecht will refuse to consider any bids lower than £12.7 million, which may be a little more than the Magpies would be willing to pay for the youngster. Once again, it would make a lot more sense for McClaren to pay the £15 million for a proven Premier League striker like Austin rather than a 20-year-old who has yet to feature in England’s top flight.
Georginio Wijnaldum left out of PSV squad amid speculation of a transfer to Newcastle United
Other than Austin, the Dutchman may be Newcastle United’s primary target in this transfer window. PSV have allowed Wijnaldum to take some time away to decide his future and it is reported that the club captain may be interested in a potential move to St James’ Park in the coming months.
Wijnaldum played a pivotal role in PSV’s championship-winning side last term and the Dutch side will be demanding a significant fee if the Magpies are going to pursue the 24-year-old further. At the time of writing, it seems that PSV would certainly be interested in selling the midfielder, providing Newcastle hit their asking price.
According to reports, the Magpies may be competing directly against Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg for Wijnaldum’s signature and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see McClaren make the midfielder his number one target. He witnessed the Dutchman’s talent first-hand during his time at FC Twente and would be an excellent coup for a Newcastle side that is lacking a dominant, creative presence in midfield.