I'd like to tell you a little story. It's a story about a wee club in the northeast of England. Every January, the club bring in a player during the transfer window... perhaps sell a striker (be it early or late in the window) and spend the rest of the hours pumping up rumors for this player or that... usually a player that they have no intention of purchasing, ostensibly to give the supporters something to bump their gums about. Fear not, friends. It seems that we're right on track!
You may recall that we had a running start at January with the departure (for better or worse) of Demba Ba to Chelsea and the arrival of Mathieu Debuchy from Lille. You may further recall that early stories were indicating that an approach for Loïc Rémy was in a relatively advanced stage. It doesn't seem that nay approach was in any sort of stage past "hey, could we give you lots of £ for Rémy?". We'll go on and on with this one and the meter of likelihood will tick back and forth in column-eating inches. We'll get encouraged, discouraged. An alternative hope (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) will be provided. Fast forward through much hand-wringing and wishing and hoping, and the January window will close with serious gaps still left in the squad. Sound familiar? That's pretty much where we are and where we will likely stay. The evidence of every transfer window in the Ashley era tells us this will be the truth. In the meantime, selected current members of the squad will be targeted for repeated stories and links away from Newcastle because who really wants to be here anyway.
**Slight note here, as I'm writing this, Mick Lowes has apparently been on Radio Newcastle saying:
Mick Lowes "NUFC are currently seriously negotiating for more than two players and are very confident"
so there's that. For what it's worth.
The Rumors Today:
Apparently San Lorenzo are "still waiting for an answer" from Captain Colo. While we have struggled (as has Colo a bit) this year, a switch back to Argentina to a club that is also struggling seems... unlikely... whether his dad works there or not. I expect we'll see more of this throughout January, but just to fill posts or column inches. The odds of Newcastle shipping a CB this January when they seem to have little interest in bringing one in is going to be pretty low.
Another attacking midfielder/winger that has somewhat tenuously been linked with Newcastle - but as example of how silly January is, here is a quote from Valbuena's agent regarding the player's interest in Newcastle United:
"You do not leave the OM to go play in
#NUFC."- the diplomatic agent of Mathieu Valbuena.
Soooo... we can put this one to bed. Not to mention he's even older than Rémy so this would take some convincing for both player and Ashley... File under: Spurious.
James was linked with Newcastle last January. The 23 year old started 44 matches for West Ham during their 2011-12 Championship campaign, but found it a little tougher to break into the squad this season after missing out on part of the preseason as part of Team GB at the Olympics. He has started 11 matches and appeared 17 times total in the league for West Ham, who have been stout in defense this season, conceding 24 goals (third-least in the PL) thus far. I personally don't like re-tread rumors... but Tomkins seems to have enough potential that it's worth registering. On the other hand, defenders with their primary experience being in the Championship don't always work out so well for us.
Danny is a Geordie. It looks like he's on his way out of Swansea. He is registering on Newcastle's radar (according to the radio interview with Lowes), but very far down. He is an attacking option that wouldn't be subject to call-up to the ACoN... but it seems like there is more interest from other clubs in him, so eventually landing here would be surprising.