Lee Ryder, chief football writer for the Chronicle, decided he was going to fight back after a report from Sky Sports stated that Newcastle had rejected a bid for their captain Jamaal Lascelles from West Ham.
The claim was first made by Keith Downie, a Sky Sports reporter on his personal Twitter feed, and this was then followed by a story on Sky Sports.
BREAKING: Newcastle have rejected a bid from West Ham for captain Jamaal Lascelles as out of hand. The offer was £20m rising to £25m. We’re told Lascelles is not for sale. More on @SkySportsNews
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) July 10, 2018
Ryder immediately penned a piece for the Chronicle saying that no formal bid had been received and that Sky Sports were guilty of printing agent-driven gossip aimed at unsettling the player.
Downie saw this and said he found the article baffling, to which Ryder responded again.
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) July 10, 2018
Downie fired back, asserting that a bid had been made and that Ryder obviously didn’t know about it.
1. There is a bid (fine if you are unaware, but don’t knock down others’)
2. We never said he wanted to leave, or was unsettled.
3. We never said NUFC “weren’t cool” about situation, we said they rejected out of hand.
4. “Believed to be agent driven talk” – believed by who?
Ryder then fired back on Twitter, saying again that no bid had been made and that linking the player with West Ham is potentially settling [sic] (later corrected to unsettling).
There is no bid. Linking him with West Ham is potentially settling. And NUFC are cool on it. As are we.
Well this was entertaining. It’s not often that too journalists as big as these start swinging at each other on Twitter. Ryder is adamant that no formal bid has been made for Lascelles and with his connections with Newcastle, you would think that he would have the upper hand here. However, there could be a myriad reasons why journalists refute the work of others. Downie was intent on not letting this one go either, and stood by the Sky Sports claim. The one point that both parties seem to agree on is that Newcastle have no intention of selling Lascelles, and certainly not at the price that’s been reported. Lascelles is the sort of player who could well become a story over the summer though. There’s nothing to say that he’s not completely happy at Newcastle – he only signed a new six-year contract last year. But he knows how good he is and he might well have his head turned if a big bid comes in from a true giant of a club.