With Joey Barton looking likely to stay on Tyneside for one more year at least, Newcastle are seemingly looking to bring in just two more players before the end of the month: a striker and a left back.
While Newcastle have been linked with a lot of Premier League players in both those positions and at one point Dutch defender Erik Pieters looked like a strong possibility, it’s now more than likely that Alan Pardew will revert to type and raid the French league once more. But do Aly Cissokho and Modibo Maigarepresent the final two pieces of the jigsaw for Newcastle?
The Sunday Sun is today reporting that Newcastle have made ‘significant progress’ in their efforts to sign the pair who ply their trade in the French Ligue 1, but that the Magpies will need to up their bids to meet Lyon’s and Sochaux’s valuations of their players. Both clubs are looking for £10 million to prize their assets from them, but Newcastle have so far made only £7m bids for both. Pardew will be desperate for the Newcastle board to up their bids, but £20m may be a price they’re not willing to pay.
Out of the two, Aly Cissokho is a player with a higher reputation in Europe. Lyon signed the left back from Porto in 2009 for a fee in excess of £10m, so if Newcastle could get him for less it would be a decent bit of business. The 23 year old already has Champions League experience under his belt, as well as a solitary cap for France. With Jose Enrique gone there’s a gaping gap at left back at Newcastle, one a player of the calibre of Cissokho could fill with ease.
Modibo Maiga is the potential transfer that concerns me a little bit more. I have to admit I know little about him, but seeing a player go on strike to try and force through a move, even if it is one to Newcastle, is never a good sign. He’s only been at Sochaux for one season, netting 15 times in the last campaign. Also 23, Maiga has 16 caps and 3 goals for Mali to his name, but isn’t really an out and out striker. As it stands Sochaux are seemingly unwilling to sell unless they get an offer they can’t afford to refuse, something I can’t see Newcastle lodging.
The closer it gets to the end of the transfer window, the more desperate Newcastle will become. Despite Ryan Taylor proving to be a match winner yesterday, Newcastle cannot be without an established left back until January, so I think Cissokho is an essential signing. While the Magpies need another striker on this season’s showing, they should not be held to ransom by Sochaux over Maiga. Fees will be inflated in the last 10 days of the window, so £15m for the pair maybe, but £20m no.