5 Under-the-Radar Moves Newcastle United Must Make in the Summer
The need for reinforcements at Newcastle United is one of the Premier League’s worst-kept secrets, and after a disastrous second half of the season, the rebuilding job at St. James’ Park can’t begin soon enough.
A squad devoid of any strength in depth has been stretched to its limits following Yohan Cabaye’s January departure and injuries to the likes of Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy.
And as a consequence, the Toon have run into serious trouble in 2014, losing 12 out of 17 fixtures so far and suffering accusations that the players are already on holiday.
The future of manager Alan Pardew has also been brought into question, with the 52-year-old feeling the wrath of the fans during a recent defeat at Stoke City.
Some major restructuring is in the offing this summer, so as the current campaign nears its conclusion, we look at five signings the Magpies could make to steal a march on their top-flight rivals.
With the future of Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul in the balance amid reported interest from the likes of Juventus and Napoli, a homecoming for Fraser Forster could answer the Magpies' prayers next season.
Krul has been linked with a switch to Italy, as suggested by John Richardson of the Daily Express, and former Toon stopper Forster is being eyed as the Dutchman’s immediate replacement.
The 26-year-old Geordie began his career at St. James’ Park but moved north of the border to join Celtic on loan in 2010 and made the deal permanent some two years later.
And according to Gary Jones in the Daily Star, the England international is seen as a viable alternative to Krul, having lifted three league titles in Scotland and earned rave reviews in the Champions League.
Moyes signed the 26-year-old whilst in charge at Everton in 2008 and made the former Standard Liege man his star signing at Old Trafford in a £27.5 million deal last summer.
Fast-forward to today, and the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has suggested the Scot could be in line to replace Alan Pardew at St. James’ Park at the end of the current season.
And if the 51-year-old does arrive on Tyneside, he could well kick-start a frantic recruitment drive by bidding for Fellaini, who has been tipped to leave the north-west by Aaron Gratton from Football Direct News.
Jack Colback wouldn’t be the first player to leave Sunderland to join Newcastle United, but that wouldn’t make his reported transfer any less controversial.
The midfielder is said to be in advanced talks with the Magpies, and the Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel has suggested the switch will be a formality once the season has ended.
If the 24-year-old does move to St. James’ Park this summer, he will become the first star since Lionel Perez some 16 years ago to move between the north-east’s big two.
But the powers that be on Tyneside will have to be quick out of the blocks if they’re to get their man, with Stoke City, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton also in the hunt, according to Lee Ryder in the Evening Chronicle.
While a veil of uncertainty shrouds the top flight’s race for survival at present, England defender Steven Caulker would almost certainly leave Cardiff City if the Welsh outfit were to suffer relegation.
The 22-year-old has only been with the Bluebirds since July last year, but a string of impressive performances has alerted his old club Tottenham Hotspur just 12 months after they sold him.
But with doubts surrounding the future of Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini, the Magpies could be in the market for a quality centre-back, and Caulker certainly fits into that category.
The Argentine international told Miles Starforth in the Shields Gazette that he will consider his future on Tyneside once the current campaign has finished.
If he’s given permission to leave west London, an almighty rush to secure his signature is expected after a successful loan spell with Everton that has seen the Belgian score 14 goals this season.
A similar temporary term with West Bromwich Albion first alerted Newcastle United to the 20-year-old, but the forward opted for a move to Goodison Park last August.
This time around, however, Toon boss Alan Pardew has already thrown his hat into the ring, according to the Daily Mail’s Colin Young, and an early move in the next transfer window would leave their rivals behind.