Just as the January transfer window was beginning to draw to a predictably flat and uninspiring conclusion, Newcastle United have suddenly sparked into life both on and off the field.
The Magpies faithful had to rub their eyes a little and check various news outlets before starting to believe the reports but it appears that their long-standing transfer record will be broken before Thursday’s deadline.
This is not a drill; the BBC and plenty of respectable outlets have claimed that Newcastle have reached an agreement with Atlanta United over a deal worth £20 million for Miguel Almiron, with the 24-year-old due on Tyneside imminently to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms.
It’s a deal which will naturally have the supporters in dreamland, breathing a sight of relief while simultaneously watching highlight reels of Almiron’s best moments in the MLS.
But a recent report from Sky Sports on Tuesday claimed that Newcastle were also in the race for Youri Tielemans alongside West Ham, Arsenal and Leicester City, however, a Twitter update from John Percy, midlands reporter for the Daily Telegraph, seems to confirm that the Foxes have won the race for his signature.
#lcfc have tonight agreed a deal with Monaco for Youri Tielemans. Loan swap, with Adrien Silva going to Monaco. Players expected for medicals on Wednesday
— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) January 29, 2019
The 21-year-old midfielder has emerged as a coveted talent amongst a handful of Premier League clubs for very good reason: he is technically gifted, devastating when shooting from long-range, an incisive passer, a keen dribbler and already has 19 caps for the Belgium national side.
That Monaco paid £21.63 million to sign him from Anderlecht speaks volumes about how highly rated the midfield technician is. During his time in Belgium he scored 35 goals and provided 31 assists from 185 appearances for Anderlecht – a record which vindicates his reputation as one of the most promising creative midfielders in Europe.
If Newcastle had managed to fend off competition to secure his signature there is no doubt it would have represented a massive coup for the club. His presence on the field would have stimulated improvement in those around him who have struggled without a creative outlet this season.
It is no surprise that Newcastle have missed out on Tielemans considering Mike Ashley looks set to part with £20 million for Almiron, but a successful loan bid for the Belgium prodigy could have been a game-changer in the context of their survival bid.
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