Newcastle United supporters have been markedly more upbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side kick off 2018 with back-to-back victories over Stoke City and Luton Town, the latter booking their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Rafa Benitez’s men ended 2017 just a point and two places above the Premier League’s bottom three, but they pulled further clear of danger with a crucial 1-0 success over Mark Hughes’ Stoke on January 2. And the Magpies backed that up with a comfortable 3-1 win over League Two leaders Luton at St James’ Park last weekend, with a brace from Ayoze Perez as well as Jonjo Shelvey’s strike earning the North East giants a spot in the last 32 of the world’s oldest club competition, where they will go on to face either Norwich City or Premier League champions Chelsea.
Subsequently, there have been many delighted Magpies fans in the Tavern in recent days, although they are unlikely to be overly thrilled by their side’s lack of transfer activity so far this month, which The Times journalist George Caulkin has recently provided a reason for on Twitter.
Benitez’s side have been subject of a possible takeover bid from Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners in the last few months, although it appears that the North East outfit are no nearer to new owners.
However, one of the reported stipulations was that current owner Mike Ashley would fund the January transfer window and then recoup that money further down the line from Staveley, although Caulkin suggests that the lack of an agreement is what is hindering Newcastle’s January plans.
And they’re not suggesting it could be. The agreement with Ashley that funds would be released was reliant on a deal being in place. As things stand, isn’t it.
— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) January 10, 2018
As such, it doesn’t look good for Newcastle fans who hope to see a huge change of personnel at the club this month, leaving manager Benitez facing a very difficult few weeks.
Landlord’s verdict: The proposed takeover of Newcastle United has been rumbling on for some time now, with we no nearer knowing whether Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners will indeed buy the club off Mike Ashley.
The possible deal was always going to overshadow the January transfer window, a market Magpies boss Rafa Benitez is seeking to utilise in a bid to improve his squad, and The Times journalist George Caulkin has shed light on a stipulation of the deal, which suggested that Ashley would fund the window and then recoup the money from Staveley further down the line.
But as Caulkin suggests, that was only the case if ‘a deal was in place’, further throwing into doubt exactly what the remainder of the window holds for the North East giants and manager Benitez.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!