There is only one idea in my head, and it's THUNDERDOME™. If a story can't fit, I'm not interested. It's not that I'm that fixated with THUNDERDOME (although it's a really compelling movie), it's just I'm fixated with THUNDERDOME. Let's get up to speed on the contestants.
Siem de Jong
Siem de Jong is the younger brother of former Toon target Luuk de Jong, so we can rule him out immediately as he'll be headed to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Or QPR. Following the departure of one time Toon target Jan Vertonghen, he was made captain for Ajax who are currently 3rd in the Eredivisie table and have only lost one match in 18. If we don't assume there's a little hope, there's no conversation, so let's assume there is at least a chance that we could see Siem in the black and white.
de Jong is a departure from the Forward/Wing hybrids that we've been connected with since the window opened - he is an out and out center player. He can play central midfield or a more attacking role (ostensibly he is also capable of playing a forward position, but he would likely not be asked to do so in Newcastle).
De Jong, 23, is a playmaker who can play either in midfield or attack. He can also play as an old-fashioned No 10 and his capture will excite the Newcastle fans.
As a player who can play the classic number 10 (think young Francesco Totti or Zinedine Zidane), he is potentially the most exciting of the offensive options linked to Newcastle United so far. He would be a player already prepared to be the link between the midfield in whichever configuration Alan Pardew settles (the middle of the "3" in 4-2-3-1 or as the more advanced center of the midfield 3 in the 4-3-3). As a pure and capable play maker, he could provide a supplement to Yohan Cabaye in pulling the creative strings. As you think through a player with de Jong's skill set, it's very easy to get excited about what he could bring to the club, so I'm going to leave this video here and let you fill in the rest:
Special notes on the video: 1) Have your volume control ready, it's a little hot. 2) This video is all of goals, so envision what you see bundled up with the ability to be a play maker.
In dealing with rumors regarding Italian clubs it is sometimes difficult to separate wheat from chaff, if you will. In actuality, it's perhaps not too much different than dealing with rumors in the English press. Statements made are taken out of context, twisted, applied to situations and stories made out of it... I guess it's just normal transfer rumor stuff. You may recall Sky Italia's role in DembaGate #1 over the summer. As with most of these things, a string of half-truths, quotes out of context and actual truth can combine nicely to make a story.
AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati will turn 36 ahead of next season - backup Marco Amelia will be 31 by the time the season is out. Unless Abbiati is a Brad Friedel or Edwin van der Sar type that will continue to perform at a very high level into his 40s, it would make sense that they would be looking for a ready-made successor assuming that they are not sold on Amelia as the guy to do that. Like for many other clubs, Tim Krul at 25 years old and recently given the gloves for the Dutch national team makes an attractive target.
It would be folly to think that you are going to get an extended Shay Given-type career from a goalkeeper with Newcastle being the club that it is at this point. If he continues on an upward track his ability will eventually outpace Ashley's willingness to pay him. On the flip side, Tim has not performed this season to nearly the level that he did last season. If Mike Ashley believes that he can sell Tim at a higher price after giving Tim a run at regaining the sparkling form he head early last year (and there are indications that he could - he looked as good as he had in 13 months or so in the draw against Norwich), our motivation to sell is going to be pretty low. If our motivation to sell is low, the likely selling point in £ is going to be high, and the situation may resolve itself at this point. AC Milan are not dripping with cash at this point, so a play for Tim Krul (or Davide Santon with whom they have also been linked) is not likely to succeed. Importantly, AC Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti said that the club were looking at Santon (and likely Krul) as a target following the season. It's fun, though, to run Newcastle supporters through the ringer, so of course they're going to move now (assuming they want to leave at all).
The Complicating Factor
NEWCASTLE United are eyeing Birmingham City’s England international goalkeeper Jack Butland.
The Chronicle has been informed by reliable sources in the second city that the Magpies are prepared to offer £4m for the teenager and they have touched base with the St Andrew’s club.
He guarded the posts for Great Britain in the Olympics and also made the England squad for Euro 2012 after John Ruddy withdrew with a broken finger.
Butland’s presence would push Tim Krul all the way in the battle for number 1 and United want three keepers to keep competition healthy.
At 6ft 5in, Butland is arguably England’s brightest prospect when it comes to young goalies.
--from The Chronicle