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Transferwatch Update #3: Lots of What-have-yous

There doesn't appear to have been much progress on bringing in coaches or players, but there are a couple of once-valued first team players linked to moves away from the club.

Cheik Tiote

It has been reported that Tiote's representatives have been in contact with Turkish side Trabzonspor about a potential move away from St. James' Park.  While there were times that a Tiote move away from Newcastle was an unthinkably bad situation, it has finally hit a point where it's probably best for everyone involved benefits from his departure.  Almost.

On Tiote's end, it would be beneficial to have a fresh start.  Both his form and his health have been on a decline somewhere between slow and precipitous over the last three years.  Sometimes a change of location can alleviate at least one of those concerns.

On the clubs end, they have the likes of Mehdi Abeid, Gael Bigirimana, and Olivier Kemen sitting behind Tiote.  They really need to figure out what they have in those players.  Bigi was thrown to the Wolves by Alan Pardew during the Europa League campaign and then written off for dead when he didn't perform at a European level.  Since then, he has had injury concerns of his own.  Kemen is young while Abeid was a mismatch in every way for both Alan Pardew and John Carver.  While it would be sad to see Tiote leave, it would clear the logjam in the center of midfield.

On the fans' end, this move would be catastrophic to the idea of every keeping a team together or building toward something.  Ownership had a chance to sell Tiote on at huge (but diminishing) profit each of the past three summers.  Each year that passed, as mentioned earlier, his on-pitch performance diminished as much as did the cash-in value on a once highly desirable player.  Using this as an example, it is unlikely that the ownership are likely to miss out on an opportunity to sell a player at maximum profit again.

Papiss Cisse/Charlie Austin

Recent reports have suggested that Newcastle are actively shopping Papiss Cisse in order to vacate the Number 9 shirt to "sweeten the pot" in attempt to entice Charlie Austin away from London.  On paper, this idea kind of works... and honestly that's probably the only place that it does so.  Trading a 25 year-old striker for a 30 year-old striker with recent injury history is a smart investment.  When the 30 year-old striker, however, is among the league leaders in minutes-per-goal and is the only confirmed goal-scorer on the roster (striker or otherwise), it becomes less of a good idea.  Sure Austin scored 18 goals for QPR, but we have seen our own strikers score boatloads for us and score not very much for other squads (Demba Ba and Loic Remy for instance).  In a perfect world, we probably would like to have both Cisse and Austin in the squad for next year, but Newcaste United is very much not a perfect world.

Speaking of Charlie Austin, Newcastle are once again in poll position to land Austin... for whatever that's worth.  Bookmakers have suspended betting on his next destination three times for three different clubs (West Ham, Chelsea and Newcastle).  Newcastle squad expert Harry Redknapp, however, has some ideas that St. James' Park may not be such a bad place to be after all (after being the catalyst for events that led to Demba Ba's departure).  Of course, it's very easy to see that the same reason that Ba and Remy didn't score boatloads of goals (moving to Chelsea) would be the same poor career decision for Austin as it was for Demba and Loïc – and for the same reasons – so it's not really going out on a limb to say it out loud.

Davide Santon

From the "huh, that's kind of strange" department, Davide Santon could potentially be on the move again.  Reports that he is about to join Watford as part of a two player package deal along with Zdravko Kuzmanovic have emerged.  If they are to be believed, Inter will have turned a quick and tidy profit on the player as the price for both is supposed to be £10m.  Kuzmanovic is valued (per transfermarkt) in the neighborhood of £3.6m of that sum leaving the price for Santon at £6.4... or about a profit of £1m +/- for the LB who joined in January.  For his part, Santon has apparently moved to distance himself from the rumor, but if there is any truth to his potential departure from Inter (to Watford or elsewhere) it could be an implicit verification of the idea that he was forced out of Newcastle in January.

Ultimately

We have still made no signings and have been linked with the departures of players who may have a role in Steve McClaren's re-imagined Newcastle.  We still have no backroom staff, though there are suggestions out there that we may see Ian Cathro and Steve Round both in soon (yeah... I know.  "soon") with players to follow soon thereafter.  Or hopefully by the July 10th match v. Gateshead... after we've had all of the early preseason practicing out of the way.