Delayed Newcastle United transfer business explained as fans wait for a breakthrough
It’s almost that time. As the nation prepares for England’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Germany, Newcastle United’s training ground is being readied for the start of pre-season training.
Most of the club’s players will report back next week, though several have already returned to the club’s Benton training centre ahead of the new campaign.
As it stands, there won’t be any new faces coming through the door – and it’s not even clear which old faces will be returning.
It’s been the quietest of Junes at the club, which finished 12th in the Premier League five weeks ago.
What’s happened so far?
Not much. The club is yet to sign a senior player, though deals have been mooted for teenagers Remi Savage and Shaun Mavididi, and it's yet to confirm it’s retained list.
However, the Premier League shed some light on the futures of a number of players, notably Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar and Dwight Gayle.
The club has taken up options and extended the contracts of Dummett and Schar, while Gayle has signed a new deal. There’s no clarity over the future of Federico Fernandez, who’s out of contract later this week.
The club will most likely confirm the status of these players ahead of the start of pre-season.
June, it must be said, is invariably a quiet month, more so when there’s a major tournament underway. Most summer deals get done in July and August, and June signings are the exception rather than the rule.
What needs to happen?
The club has a lot of work to do before the transfer window closes at 11pm on August 31, as Steve Bruce’s squad needs strengthening in several areas.
Bruce and managing director Lee Charnley need to move players in and out over the coming weeks.
The player that Newcastle are most keen to move in is midfielder Joe Willock, who spent the second half of last season on loan at St James’s Park. Arsenal are looking to raise funds this summer, and Willock is a saleable asset, but Bruce may need to add to his transfer kitty to get him.
United are also looking at defensive reinforcements, while a striker will be needed should Andy Carroll not sign a new deal.
Florian Lejeune and Yoshinori Muto could be moved on, while Bruce must make a decision on the future of Freddie Woodman, who has spent the past two years on loan at Swansea City.
Newcastle are also yet to publish the accounts for the year ending June 2019. These will illustrate the early financial costs of the coronavirus pandemic, and add context to the club’s transfer business.
When will it happen?
United still have a lot of time to get deals done, but the sooner players arrive, the better.
Clubs aren’t ready to commit to transfers at this stage, and those in the know are suggesting that many deals, and especially loans, will be done late in the window.
So the squad which assembles for the start of pre-season training next week ahead of the club’s August 15 season-opener against West Ham United at St James's Park is likely to be much the same as the one which ended the season.
The wider transfer market, however, should get going later next month once Euro 2020 has come to a conclusion at Wembley.