Newcastle United Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of March 3
A little over nine weeks stand between Newcastle United and the end of another Premier League campaign, and the club’s summer transfer plans are the subject of much debate.
Wholesale changes to Alan Pardew’s squad are expected once the 2013-14 season comes to an end, with a replacement for Yohan Cabaye at the top of the manager’s priorities.
Recent reports also hint at a number of outgoings, with the Evening Chronicle’s Lee Ryder suggesting as many as 10 players could leave St. James’ Park in what he calls a “mass exodus.”
With just 10 games remaining, we take a close look at the latest round of rumours surrounding the Magpies.
Last updated: Mar. 4, 12:00 p.m. GMT.
Following the impact made by Demba Ba and the varied success of Papiss Cisse at Newcastle United, Pardew is on the trail of another Senegalese international.
According to Alan Nixon of the Mirror, 21-year-old Red Bull Salzburg star Sadio Mane is on the Toon’s radar, and he has already been watched by chief scout Graham Carr.
The versatile attacker has been utilised through the middle and as an out-and-out winger, and he is said to be keen on becoming the latest French-speaking player in the St. James’ Park dressing room.
Salzburg signed Mane for £4 million in 2012, and the former Metz man has shone in Austria this season, scoring 18 goals in all competitions.
Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has launched a scathing verbal attack on Newcastle United and insisted he will not sell Remy Cabella to the Magpies even if he receives a €20 million offer.
Pardew remains keen on the attacking midfielder, having failed to land him during the January transfer window as a direct replacement for Cabaye.
Speaking to RMC (via Patrick Haond of Sky Sports), the outspoken Stade de la Mosson chief poured scorn on suggestions that the move could be revived:
Is Newcastle not a good destination? Don't make me laugh. If Newcastle would offer €20 million, and Arsenal €5 million? I think I would not sell him.
Would I advise him against joining Newcastle? Yes definitely. Arsenal why not. For my dear Yanga-Mbiwa, Newcastle was not Eldorado.
Pardew will begin his summer spending spree by landing on-loan striker Loic Remy on a permanent deal, according to Niall Hickman in the Daily Express.
The French forward has been a huge hit on Tyneside since his temporary switch from Queens Park Rangers last August and is the club’s top scorer this season with 13 goals.
A Metro report last month suggested the 27-year-old was in preliminary talks with Arsenal, but Pardew thinks the former Marseille man is keen to remain with the Magpies. He said:
I just presume he wants to stay. I don’t really need to ask him. In terms of the financial situation they are questions I can’t answer. I know he loves it here and I know he enjoys working with my staff.
Luuk De Jong
Newcastle United’s other on-loan striker, Dutchman Luuk De Jong, has apparently moved closer to a permanent switch to Tyneside thanks to his defensive abilities.
Given the job of marking influential midfielder Tom Huddlestone, the 23-year-old won a total of 12 aerial battles and linked well with his teammates, according to WhoScored.
Speaking to Miles Starforth in the Shields Gazette, Pardew said:
We set the team up to be fast on the break, but we had to be strong defensively. Luuk had a lot of responsibility on Huddlestone. I thought he had a terrific game for us. He impressed with his all-round performance.