The current mood within Newcastle United is somber, to say the least.
There aren’t many reasons to celebrate at St James’ Park, with the confirmed departure of manager Rafael Benitez putting the cherry on top of a non-existent transfer window so far.
Benitez looked to have wanted to strengthen his forward options, with any move for former loanee Salomon Rondon now looking dead in the water. Another the Spaniard reportedly held talks with was former Club Brugge forward Wesley, but the 22-year-old eventually decided to move to recently promoted side Aston Villa.
This will have no doubt been a hard pill to swallow for the Magpies, missing out on their target to a club that has recently spent three consecutive seasons in the Championship – something which once again demonstrates a lack of ambition from Mike Ashley.
Lightning cannot afford to strike twice in the North East, with Villa reportedly having a bid rejected for Bristol City central defender Adam Webster – a player Newcastle have been heavily linked with.
The Championship side were reported by teamTALK to have quoted interested sides, which included the Magpies, £12million to tempt their hand, but on Sky Sports’ live blog (26/06, 3:43 pm) it was reported that an offer of that amount from Villa had been rejected.
Webster would be a great signing for either side, having won City’s Player of the Year award in his first campaign at Ashton Gate. Ashley must not let his Premier League rivals beat Newcastle to another one of his club’s targets.
With Jamaal Lascelles a reported target for Lazio and Fabian Schar rumoured to be open to talks to leave after Benitez’ departure, the heart of defence could be an area that desperately needs strengthening.
With no manager in place at St James’ Park, it would be hard for Newcastle to secure any signatures, but one thing is for sure, they can not afford to miss out on another one of their targets to Dean Smith or they could face uproar come the start of next season.