Newcastle at one stage this season were bobbing along quite happily, much like a can of Stella would merrily bob along the Tyne on a Sunday morning. Of late however, things have started to go wrong, and they are looking like they could be sucked into the relegation dogfight at the bottom of the table.
Possibly preempting this slide vultures are beginning to circle, and one of the first targets prime for being picked off is right back Danny Simpson. A trio of clubs are supposedly watching the 24 year old with the view to a move this Summer, former club Blackburn are thought to be interested, as well as Birmingham City and Celtic.
Simpson was a product of the prolific Manchester United youth setup in the early 2000’s. He joined the club in 2003 and like many of the United youths he spent his early career on loan with Royal Antwerp, he plied his trade in Belgium for 2 seasons before returning to England. He made 3 appearances for Manchester United and was then loaned out to different clubs including Sunderland, Ipswich, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle. His spell on Tyneside was made permanent in January 2010 for £750,000 after he had impressed the club during their time in the Championship.
This season his good form has continued and he has formed a good relationship down the right flank with Joey Barton. The Sunday Sun reported that Birmingham City were very interested in the defender as they view him as someone that could be a long term replacement for ancient defender Stephen Carr, whilst there has also been interest North of the border with Celtic watching the quick full back with a view to taking him to Glasgow this Summer. The transfer race is further intensified by former club Blackburn identifying him as a future transfer prospect as well.
The sticking point for all three clubs is that Simpson is reportedly extremely happy in the North East and ready to stick with a club rather than continuing his somewhat nomadic footballing career. His current deal with the Toon expires in the Summer of 2013 therefore it would not be a cheap deal to finance, the player however is keen to commit more of his future to the club at the end of this season and negotiate an extension.
A lot will rest on whether the club retain their top flight status, whilst their current form is poor and they are on the slide I still think they have enough to stay in the Premier League and I think in those circumstances Simpson would want to stay. The other options aren’t even that more attractive, Birmingham and Blackburn are both also embroiled in the same relegation battle and even if all three survive the drop, I think he is already at the club that have the best potential for pushing on and competing higher up the table in the future. Celtic obviously challenge for honours every season, but whether the SPL would appeal to Simpson I think is somewhat questionable.
Personally I think Simpson moving on this Summer is highly unlikely, but should he question his future there will not be a shortage of sides ready to move for his signature.
For more rumours and speculation, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe!
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