As we enter May and the English Premier League season nears its conclusion, teams are undoubtedly looking towards the transfer market already, in an attempt to grab a bargain for their side.
Newcastle United are no different, and even though their top-flight survival still delicately hangs in the balance, chief scout Graham Carr is already sending reports back to manager Alan Pardew for his consideration ahead of next season.
With dressing room tensions at an all-time high—if reports from The Telegraph are to be believed—there could be more departures than first expected at Newcastle, although new players are still sure to join the Magpies’ ranks.
Certain to leave is Fabricio Coloccini, as the Newcastle captain longs for a return to his native Argentina as reported by the Guardian. The experienced centre-back almost left in January but couldn’t negotiate a release from his lucrative contract, meaning the summer is a more likely time for a South American homecoming.
The January signing of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is likely to mean that the Frenchman is Coloccini’s long-term replacement, although another defender could arrive in the summer months as cover for the first-choice pairing of Yanga-Mbiwa and Steven Taylor.
Pardew’s primary target, though, will be another striker to share the workload with Papiss Cisse. The Daily Mirror claims that Andy Carroll is one such target, although Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony could be another choice. With their league position all but ruling out the potential signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Pardew will look elsewhere for a powerful forward to complement top-scorer Cisse.
If the reports in Tuesday’s Telegraph are to be believed, Yohan Cabaye is also expected to leave Tyneside and return to his native France, where Paris Saint-Germain are interested in securing his services.
This would mean Pardew would have to dip into the market for another playmaking midfielder, or give Vurnon Anita an extended run in the side in the possible absence of Cabaye.
Anita has been a bit-part player since arriving from Ajax as Newcastle’s only summer signing last year and despite being versatile enough to fill more than two positions, he has been starved of pitch time by his manager.
One midfielder who could be added to the Geordie ranks is Liverpool’s Jay Spearing, who has 12 months remaining on his contract at Anfield. The 24-year-old would hardly evoke a buzz of excitement around St. James’ Park should he switch to the North East, although the type of player he is could just be what Newcastle need.
Many have criticised the foreign players at Newcastle for not caring about the cause and failing to work hard to get through the tough patch that the Geordies are currently enduring. Spearing would certainly be an exception to this type, as hard work and relentless energy is something he would bring to any team.
Add to the fact that he is English and has been in good form for Bolton this year, and there would be no worries over Spearing failing to understand the importance and history of Newcastle United.
To answer the question posed in the headline of this article is almost impossible given Newcastle’s current predicament. There would be a mass exodus should the Magpies slip into the Championship, with almost all of the January signings leaving for pastures new after just six months at Newcastle.
The next three weeks will go a long way to deciding what happens at St. James’ Park both on and off the field, and one way or another, we’re in for an exciting summer on Tyneside.