The hype couldn’t stay down for long – after the Bolton anti-climax (Newcastle either didn’t have the players, enough motivation or they just weren’t tall enough) the speculation and hyperbole starts again as King Kev looks to potential signings with just 10 days to go in the January 08 transfer window.
So who does Kev have lined up? Here are the usual suspects:
Wes Brown – Manchester United
Manchester United have already rejected a bid by Newcastle for Wes Brown, and as Ferguson has clearly said, Wes Brown is not for sale (and reportedly is more interested in negotiating his contract and future stay than aiming for a move away from Old Trafford). Brown would bring stability, experience and quality to Newcastle’s backline and he would be a sure starter, something that he isn’t guaranteed at Manchester United.
Brown is also out of contract in 08 but there is a good chance that he will resign with Manchester United instead of walking out on a Bosman this summer.
Micah Richards – Manchester City
You’ve got to be joking, right? Here’s a kid who is penned as the future captain of Manchester City, is their star player, is playing for a team that is far more likely to play in Europe next year as compared to Newcastle, is settled and loves his manager, his teammates and his club. He doesn’t want to move, and he doesn’t seem like the crazy kid who’d move for money. And the sad truth is, Manchester City are playing better and are likely to keep playing better than Newcastle.
Keegan himself has admitted that because of their current position fans should not expect stars to come flocking to Tyneside.
Richards may leave City, but not for Newcastle, not this year.
Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips – Chelsea
Both Chelsea players have been frequently linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge but there has rarely been a club of equal standing that’s been interested and it is the same where Chelsea and Newcastle are concerned. Moving to Newcastle would equate into a considerable step downwards for both Bridge and SWP, and its not as if both players haven’t had the chance before to move to clubs where they would get more playing time.
Chelsea are in no mood to sell this January, and SWP and Bridge, while they’d be attracted by the first-team football and the wages, would be hard-pressed to quit a Champions League campaign to move to Newcastle.
David Bentley – Blackburn
Newcastle United need a creative player to run the show in midfield and Blackburn’s David Bentley fits the bill. The only question is whether Bentley feels that he needs to move to further his career or not (unless he harbours a desire to win the Premier League with Blackburn), and I think this season it wouldn’t make much sense for him to move.
Then again, there’s the thought of playing for Newcastle’s big crowds and being paid a helluva lot of money compared to what he’s paid at Blackburn. And while Blackburn are above Newcastle in the table (and won a title far more recently than Newcastle), Newcastle is still the bigger club. If Keegan can prise Bentley away from Blackburn, he will have scored the transfer of the season as far as Newcastle are concerned.
Jermain Defoe – Tottenham
Don’t see the point of this one – the current crop of forwards are decent enough and need more support from the midfield rather than a new striker. Of course, Defoe’s status at Tottenham (more like the status of his relationship with Tottenham in the press) means that he is constantly linked with new clubs (Aston Villa and Portsmouth are reportedly after him as well), especially now that Ramos has told him that he can go.
Would Defoe add anything to Newcastle? I doubt it, and I could see other Tottenham players – someone like Steed Malbranque – making more of an impact. Robbie Keane would be excellent but I doubt he would quit Tottenham.
Peter Crouch – Liverpool
Yes, we know he doesn’t want to leave Liverpool. And yes, we know that Liverpool don’t want him to leave either.
But Peter Crouch, with his height, his work-rate and his ball-skills is the perfect striker for Newcastle’s current situation. If he gets a good run in the current Newcastle side (along with players like Bentley and N’Zogbia behind him), you can expect Newcastle to start scoring a lot more goals.
Crouchie isn’t getting what he wants at Liverpool, and with Rafa aiming to build a world-class squad Crouchie will never be better than 3rd choice (at best). At Newcastle, he’d still be in 3rd place behind Owen and Martins but he would undoubtedly get more chances to play, especially if he is in form.
Theo Walcott – Arsenal
Why would Walcott go from Arsenal to Newcastle? Why would Arsenal even sell Walcott to Newcastle?
They won’t – but there’s a chance that Walcott could go to Newcastle United on loan if Keegan can assure Arsenal that he gets ample playing time.
The potential move, although improbable, is good for all parties involved. Walcott gets time on the pitch, Arsenal have a player gaining much-needed experience (Wenger himself has said that Walcott needs more time) and Newcastle get a fast, creative striker who can lead them back up the table.
Who is coming to Newcastle United?
Who do you think Kevin Keegan will sign this January? And while we’re at it, who do you think Keegan will be kicking out of Newcastle this summer?