Newcastle United are in the hunt for two strikers, according to manager Alan Pardew, (The Chronicle) and one of them remains Aston Villa's Darren Bent. Money apparently remains an obstacle, and the Director of Football being away probably doesn't help. Pardew didn't reveal the identity of the other man, and it's impossible to blame him. Why throw another name out there, when the most likely outcome seems to be that he will sign with an Anzhi Makhachkala or a Hoffenheim, leaving the Toon Army to express their rage about yet another target gone elsewhere?
I don't know who the other striker is, if there is one. What we all know is that one is sorely needed, and Pards is well aware of this fact as well:
I think we might need two strikers. My competition in that area – Cisse, Shola, Gouff and Adam Campbell – last season wasn’t strong enough. In the Premier League, that’s not enough. I need more than that.
He's absolutely right that this isn't nearly enough depth. Cisse and Gouffran form a clear 1-2, but after that the situation is dire. Newcastle has been searching for a Demba Ba replacement since he left in early January, and so far they have come up empty. So why not replace Ba with Ba himself? He's persona non grata at Chelsea. Money would again be the barrier, but if Newcastle really outbid Borussia Dortmund for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, surely they could make it work. Ba was reportedly offered somewhere between £70-90,000 to stay last time around (depending on who you read). Would that work now?
The truth is, not much has changed about his or Newcastle's situation since Alan profiled him in early June. NUFC and Ba have barely been mentioned together in the papers, and it's probably because this move makes too much sense for it to actually happen. I'm hoping against hope that Ba is the second man.