Transfers may rely on other clubs’ business
UNITED KEEN TO BENEFIT FROM LATE DOMINO EFFECT
IT is always the case, but on this occasion more than ever: the final 24 to 36 hours of the transfer window is one huge game of who blinks first.
Deals are there to be had, proposed transfers are all but agreed in principle, yet it requires the first signing to be completed before the chain reaction occurs.
Newcastle United are keen to complete deals as the summer marketplace enters its final throes but, as ever, the Magpies are waiting on others.
The domino effect is yet to really take hold this summer - usually, in the final fortnight of the window, a flurry of deals occur - but there is still time.
Rafa Benitez would ideally still like another four players - a goalkeeper, a left-back, an attacking-midfielder and a striker - though privately Newcastle accept such feverish activity is unlikely.
However, a couple of incomings could still be completed. Kenedy’s loan move to Tyneside, which has been all-but agreed for a fortnight, should go through, while either a goalkeeper or left-back could arrive.
The problem Newcastle are having is that other deals have been delayed, stunting movement and creating a log jam.
Chelsea had hoped to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal as a new wing-back option, but the England international’s move has stalled due to Liverpool’s interest.
Antonio Conte is reluctant to allow Kenedy, someone who can operate anywhere down the left, depart before he has reinforcements through the door.
Such issues have affected Newcastle all summer, with clubs unwilling to take a gamble on the big earners who are surplus to requirements in the Magpies squad until they have moved players on themselves.
That’s why Emmanuel Riviere, Siem de Jong and Grant Hanley were not discarded until the last week of the window, and why the likes of Jack Colback and Tim Krul still face uncertain futures as the window enters its final hours. And this game of who blinks first affects Newcastle’s striker situation too. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been the subject of a succession of loan bids and enquiries from European clubs this summer. In an ideal world, Benitez would have countenanced the Serbian’s sale and brought in a replacement striker in who he can place his trust. But Newcastle’s wagebudget issues - caused by their inability to offload players early has ensured that no striker apart from Joselu has been brought through the door. Benitez will not allow Mitrovic to leave without a suitable replacement secured first, which has essentially ensured the 22-year-old will remain on Tyneside until January at the very least.
That is also why Fulham’s 11thhour interest in Dwight Gayle could yet fail. Again Benitez would be open to selling Gayle for north of £15million due to concerns out the forward’s hamstrings and also his mentality in recent weeks.
Yet he will not do so without his successor signed up. Benitez has scoured Europe for an additional striker over the past week - he had hoped to bring Stevan Jovetic to St James’ Park, but the club’s financial restrictions always made that a long shot - but has yet to make a breakthrough in that regard, meaning the smart money at this current moment in time is on Gayle staying put.
However, the final 24 hours of the window always throws up surprises. As soon as one player moves, the dam which is clogging the market suddenly breaks and suddenly there can be a sudden surge of transfers.
The domino effect is yet to take hold this summer but, as Newcastle enter deadline day still keen on doing business both in and out, Benitez is still privately hoping for a frantic end to a frustrating window.
Benitez is hoping to bring in Chelsea’s Kenedy and possibly offload Jack Colback, below