It’s Newcastle United notebook time and we have updates on the January broadcast window and takeover
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Newcastle United’s business in January will be driven by outbound transfers. Magpies boss Steve Bruce is again aware of the need to remove players from the squad to make room for substitutes.
Newcastle has the means to re-engage the players in the New Years window and recruitment meetings have taken place. Brexit rules set by the Premier League and the Football Association have not disrupted recruitment plans, which are likely to focus on credit, as a level of uncertainty about the takeover makes long-term planning difficult.
But United pays out tens of thousands a week for players who are not close to the first team squad – much to the disruption of the hierarchy.
Rolando Aarons will be the first to leave, and Huddersfield is ready to revive his interest early in the window. Achraf Lazaar spoke of his desire to leave too – but his wages mean any outbound deal can include a payout.
Henri Saivet is another big earner who is not in the squad while Christian Atsu is available again.
Newcastle would also have to move players named in the first team roster, which could require creative thinking. There’s a lot of interest in Jacob Murphy – Rangers keep their summer standby loan deal – while Dwight Gayle only has months on his contract.
Steve Bruce is dying to add more Premier League expertise while a midfielder – who was a priority for the manager before his budget was slashed by COVID – is on Newcastle’s agenda. He had urged United to move to Ross Barkley only to learn that the fringe men who were still on the books and hadn’t been sold were making a deal impossible.
Newcastle’s plan for the return of supporters to the St. James’ Park is at an « advanced stage » and communications are expected to arrive within a few days.
The first game that could be open to fans is the game in Fulham on Sept.. December – a week today – but much will depend on how the government assesses the current COVID situation in Newcastle.
If the region moves to the second stage or if the restrictions on spectator sports are relaxed next week, the club has a plan ready to start the 2. 000 fans in the 52nd. 000 stadium would allow.
Security and fairness were paramount in a complex operation, and it was frustrating to see corporate cards go on sale early last weekend. Although some packages are likely to be available, regular season ticket holders will make up the majority of the crowd within the floor.
Season ticket holder voting is probably the preferred method of deciding who will get the coveted spots for the cottagers’ clash in the week leading up to Christmas.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley appears to have focused on selling the club to Saudi Arabia – and his legal efforts to clean up the traffic jam that left the takeover breakdown over the summer.
Acquisition watchers claim potential alternative buyers recently made inquiries to Ashley’s team, but legal action is centered on the sale to the Saudi-backed group, and that remains the overriding focus.
Despite the global pandemic, the Premier League remains a major global draw for potential investors, and groups and consortia are sniffing clubs that are for sale.
But Ashley’s team – tired of wasting time – seem to see the Saudi effort as a way of realizing Ashley’s valuation, and watchers in the takeover game say there’s little chance an alternative will emerge.
Saudi interest could either focus on the litigation being fought by Ashley or on a possible reconfiguration of the original business.
Jetro Willems pays the price for rejecting a contract with Eintracht Frankfurt as he is aiming to get out in January.
Willems has had to kick a ball competitively since his serious knee injury, but he is fit. The problem for the Bundesliga club is that Willems, who intends to leave – while looking to protect his assets with a new deal – knows that gambling will get him into the shop window.
Newcastle has been informed of his availability and knows he can sign a pre-contract in January.
There are a number of championship clubs waiting to loan Matty Longstaff in case Newcastle decides to skip the midfielder in January.
Longstaff signed a new deal this summer but injuries have hampered his chances this season. And Newcastle has a decision to make on whether to go out to get the minutes he desperately needs.
Derby is a championship club interested in them, but East Midlands rival Nottingham Forest is also credited with an interest. There are up to seven other clubs in the mix from the second division.
Ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot is training with Charlton to continue his career after leaving the St. James’ Park to resume.
Popular Elliot, who was the longest-serving player at the club prior to his departure, left Newcastle this summer after an injury-related campaign. His plans to find a new club were then hit by appendicitis before meeting former teammate Mike Williamson in Gateshead.
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