Starting with deals that we are already aware of, let's update the status of Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara (mostly because it's easy to do so...). SkySports are reporting that both players are currently undergoing medicals with Newcastle United and, assuming they pass, will be signing contracts. There are no real surprises here as they've been the focus of the rumors, but again, this January has taught us that the age old axiom "until he's photographed holding the shirt" is, as always, in play.
Let's now freshen up what really should have been a more active rumor than it has been (at least to my thoughts) - Danny Simpson. Danny is out of contract in the summer, as we all know. Danny would like to move closer to Tulisa, as we all assume. London clubs QPR, Fulham and West Ham United are ready to oblige him such a move. If they could wait until the summer, of course, they could get him for free... but it's not really that simple. QPR probably could do so, but they are likely to be players of the Simpson situation heats up. The other two, however, have a clear and present need for defensive reinforcements (either through sale of players or injury). As we've seen in this January window, patience for the summer free is very low and clubs like our own have paid nominal fees to satisfy the "well, we'd at least like SOMETHING out of the player leaving" feeling. The hope here would be that the two clubs most likely to be involved from the word go drive the fee up for a January move and then QPR "pull a Redknapp" and swoop in at the last minute with astronimical wages and a better initial fee. I don't have a lot of confidence that this will actually happen, and the time to re-sign him has long since passed, so we're at the point that if we want to cash in, we'll have to take what we can get.
Finally, there is another player that we have been connected with before in previous windows that has come up in an interesting manner. You may remember around this time last year when we were connected with Sporting Lisbon and Netherlands international striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel. For me our interest in him always kind of fell into that Siem de Jong-type "wow, it'd be pretty swell if we bought a player like that.." area. Because it's January truth and clarity are in short supply, so it's hard to tell exactly at what stage of transfer this interest lives. I've seen reports that Alan Pardew is "having van Wolfswinkel scouted". Or that we've made an initial approach for the player. I even saw on the Twitterz at one point that we'd had a £10.2m bid accepted. You may, however, notice that neither of those "reports" are linked from sites that you would be willing to take to the betting window to put money on van Wolfswinkel coming to Newcastle... but it's fun to think. Also fun to think about: buying a jersey with van Wolfswinkel on the back. Yes, I am 12.
We'll be keeping an eye open today as we're expecting official announcements on at least Gouffran and Haidara, so keep one eye here, you know, just in case.