January is a month that has never been my favorite - cold and snow and all. I'm much more of a spring/fall guy myself. (It literally just struck me that spring/fall were the main soccer seasons when I was a kid... coincidence?) I'm even less of a fan now, though. In fact it frequently makes me want to poke myself in the eye repeatedly. 3 more weeks from today. We can make it together.
Let's check out the newest names in the rumor mills connected with Newcastle United:
NEWCASTLE United have edged ahead in the race to sign a French midfielder according to reports today, while James Tomkins has also been linked with the Magpies again. The Times say that Newcastle are in pole position to sign France midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 23, on a pre-contract agreement in January with his deal at Toulouse expiring this summer.
Moussa Sissoko is, again, a name that has been connected with Newcastle in the past. The Mali international central midfielder is valued at a high enough level that he would be unlikely to arrive in Newcastle during the January window. We would, however, be able to lock him in for a summer move at which time he would be available on a free. It's hard to figure that we will hold on to both Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote for yet another summer - surely Ashley will decide it's time to cash in on one or the other - so that will be fun speculation time, but at this point, it's one to file away for the future.
Alors que la presse anglaise parlait d’un intérêt de West Ham mercredi, Gaëtan Bong serait d’après nos informations dans le viseur de Newcastle. Une information confirmée ce jeudi par Jean-Raymond Legrand, le président de Valenciennes : " Newcastle est toujours très intéressé. Ils ont fait une offre. On attend de voir. Mais, je ne vais pas m’affoler. Je ne ferai les ventes que si je peux remplacer les joueurs. Il faut quand même qu’on ait une équipe pour la seconde partie de saison. Il ne s’agit pas que de vendre. Il faut pouvoir trouver les joueurs derrière, qui vont nous permettre de faire une aussi bonne seconde partie de saison que la première ", nous a-t-il déclaré.
This is a report that was slowly making its way around the Twitters this morning - if you are fluent in French, you know that this says this (translated through my good friend Google Translate. It at least looks like a reasonable translation this time!)
While the British press spoke of interest from West Ham Wednesday, Gaëtan Bong is according to our information in the viewfinder of Newcastle. Information confirmed Thursday by Jean-Raymond Legrand, president of Valenciennes: "Newcastle is still very interested. They made an offer. Expected to see. But I'm not going to panic. I will not make sales if I can replace the players. Must still we have a team for the second half of the season. It is not only to sell. It should be able to find players behind, which will allow us to do such a good second half of the first season, "he told us.
Gaëtan Bong is a 24 year-old (25 in April) Cameroon international who plays for Valenciennes in LIgue 1. Primarily a left back, he is also able to play in the central positions. This one is in very early reporting stages, so it's another one to file away... but it's interesting in that Valenciennes are apparently claiming an offer from Newcastle already in hand. We've been in the "we won't sell until we get a replacement" in practice with the Debuchy transfer; if it mirrors that one, it's likely that Bong becomes a summer transfer.
St Etienne have no intention of doing business, though, with the Ligue 1 outfit confident that Gabon international Aubameyang will not be making his way to England any time soon. "There is a lot of talk about many strikers and Newcastle, but Aubameyang will finish the season with us," St Etienne vice-president Dominique Rocheteau told French radio station RMC. "In football nothing is 100 per cent certain, but we plan on keeping him."
Aubameyang won't be sold... unless he is. Nothing's 100%. Next.
United are understood to have initiated contact with the Turkey international – who was a long-term target in the summer – after being made aware he is eager to leave the Ligue 1 side.
He is keen to discuss a move to England, although United would only want to take the transfer further if he is valued at a significantly lower price than the £7million PSG were looking for in the summer transfer window.