Griezmann, Coutinho, Poch: What's the Truth in Newcastle's Transfer Rumours?

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportApril 24, 2020

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Mauricio Pochettino head coach / manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on August 13, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United's potential £300 million takeover by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium has not even been completed, yet big-name transfer rumours are already landing on Tyneside.

Antoine Griezmann, Edinson Cavani, Philippe Coutinho and Timo Werner are among the elite talent suddenly tipped to arrive, while Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri are both linked to become the side's next manager.

It's undoubtedly an exciting time for supporters, but now they need to separate fantasy from reality, because the superstars and glory days will not arrive overnight.

The simple truth is they cannot blitz the transfer market this summer. The prospect of buying success in a manner similar to Chelsea or Manchester City in the past is almost impossible with current financial fair play rules.

But B/R reached out to several sources with insight on the takeover from PCP Capital Partners, which is headed by Amanda Staveley and backed by the Saudi Arabia royal family's Public Investment Fund, and the feeling is that they could still spend up to £150 million in the next transfer window.

The message is that we should expect signings to arrive once the takeover is signed off, which could be in in the next two to three weeks.

It is understood the new consortium are under no illusions about how they must approach the task in hand at Newcastle. Their ambitions are big, but the road to the very top might take a few years. It could take time to break into the Premier League's traditional big six—which is the ultimate goal.

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Forget about names like Griezmann, Cavani and Werner for now. That tier of player will not arrive this year because of the team's current status as much as anything to do with financing.

Newcastle have not won a major trophy since 1955 and are placed 13th in the table this season. To use one example, a source told B/R, "Edinson Cavani has not jumped at a transfer to Atletico Madrid and has also turned down offers from clubs in Italy so far, so why would he want to join Newcastle?"

For now, there's no Champions League-level boss arriving either. Current manager Steve Bruce will see out this season, and at this stage, insiders are adamant there has been no approach for Pochettino, or Allegri, or anyone else.  

But with all this said, changes will start to be implemented this summer, and the most exciting prospect being mooted among those in the know is of a new No. 9.

While the names already mentioned here might not turn up at Newcastle, it is understood they will look to recruit a proven goalscorer.

Newcastle are expected to look at players in the bracket beneath Griezmann and Co., with Lyon's Moussa Dembele mentioned to B/R as a possible option.

Lyon's Moussa Dembele could be a realistic option
Lyon's Moussa Dembele could be a realistic optionPHILIPPE DESMAZES/Getty Images

Coutinho seems to have been linked out of circumstance more than substance, given his career at Barcelona is in flux and he has a desire to return to the Premier League. So it is difficult to read too much into that situation just yet.

However, the fact the club do not have a huge wage bill at this time is going to be a bonus when it comes to drawing up targets. We have seen at clubs such as Arsenal how a hefty wage bill can impact on potential signings.

Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton are the current highest earners, with Shelvey on around £80,000 a week and the Brazilian forward picking up slightly more. Joelinton was brought in as the club's new £40 million star striker last year but has scored just one goal from 27 Premier League starts.

Coutinho earns approximately £240,000 a week—three times what Shelvey makes—so a signing like that would make a significant difference to the pay structure. 

Away from signings, there are plenty of exciting, and intriguing, things to look out for once this takeover gets the green light.

A few of the plans suggested to B/R are: 

- Work to begin immediately on the academy and training ground to make it one of the best places in the country to get a football education. 

- A director of football is almost certain to be brought in—and that appointment will provide the spark for further changes behind the scenes. It might even be the trigger that leads to a new manager.

- Look out for a major event happening at St James' Park, as the new ownership team aim to win over the city. One insider told B/R there had already been talk about the idea of staging a world heavyweight boxing fight at the stadium.

This takeover is a big deal, and it really could lead to some amazing times for Newcastle United.

Listen to Dean on the B/R Football Ranks podcast. New episodes every Wednesday. Subscribe here.

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