Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is reportedly tracking and interested in signing Coventry City starlet Gael Bigirimana according to website Sportsmole.
Pardew will be looking to bolster his squad this summer with Newcastle qualifying for the Europe next season, adding extra fixtures and presumably extra strain to the North East club next season.
After last season’s inspired signings the pressure will be on to add even more quality to he squad for next season. However Newcastle’s renowned chief scout Graham Carr may have done it again with Coventry City youngster Gael Bigirimana.
Bigirimana is originally from Burundi in Africa and is described as a midfielder in the mould of Micheal Essien, meaning he plays just in-front of the back four. He has been at Coventry City since twelve years old when he arrived and asked for a trial.
The 18 year old made his football league debut for the Sky Blues last season against Leicester City, going on to make 28 appearances in all competitions. The youngster went on to win the Championship’s Apprentice of the Year Award for the 2011/12 season beating off competition from Crystal Palace’s Jonathon Williams and Reading’s Jordan Obita.
Reports in the Coventry Telegraph state that the Premier League club have offered between £500,000 and £1m for the midfield talent, who they want to join their development squad at St James’ Park.
Coventry manager Andy Thorn is understandably reluctant to allow the midfielder to leave, insisting the midfielder is very much in his plans for next season. He is quoted in the Telegraph as saying:
‘Gael’s a good talent but still has a heck of a lot to learn and I’d be really disappointed if he left.’
On the possible move Newcastle he said:
‘They are a massive club and if you aren’t careful it eats you up if you go too soon, so you have to be very careful.’
Despite Thorn’s attempts at scaremongering I would be surprised if the youngster stayed with the Sky Blues, especially after they got relegated to League One last season. Thorn maybe right when he says the youngster has still a lot to learn, but surely you learn by progressing, not by playing at a lower level.
So it seems that in the Toon version of The Apprentice, it is very much a case of ‘You’re Hired’ for Bigirimana.