Newcastle United's 'bold' takeover move and the perils of judging buyer and seller deal confidence

Another week goes by on the Newcastle United front and still very little changes at St James’ Park.

Sunday, 4th July 2021, 9:00 am

Here our Newcastle United writers Miles Starforth and Liam Kennedy take a look at developments in the last seven days, including the Premier League takeover statement and Miguel Almiron’s potential Magpies return.

How close are Newcastle United to signing their first player of the summer?

MS: “I think the transfer market will start to move once Euro 2020 reaches its conclusion this month. Ideally, the club will do its business early and get new signings settled in before the start of the new season, but that’s easier said than done. Newcastle are again looking at the loan market, and these deals, certainly, will be among the last to be sanctioned.”

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Yasir al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, speaks during a press conference in the eastern Saudi Arabian region of Dhahran on November 3, 2019. - Saudi Aramco confirmed it planned to list on the Riyadh stock exchange, describing it as a "significant milestone" in the history of the energy giant. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
Yasir al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, speaks during a press conference in the eastern Saudi Arabian region of Dhahran on November 3, 2019. - Saudi Aramco confirmed it planned to list on the Riyadh stock exchange, describing it as a "significant milestone" in the history of the energy giant. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

LK: “Things aren’t totally on hold at United, despite mumerings the takeover process has slowed matters. I would still expect United to be reasonably busy this summer, with or without a change of ownership.”

How much business do you think United will do?

MS: “I don’t think we’re going to see a particularly busy summer. We’ve spoken before about it being more about evolution than revolution, but you’d think four or five new players will be needed, though the overall number will depend on what happens with the likes of Federico Fernandez and Andy Carroll.”

LK: “As I said, they will be reasonably busy, but I would be surprised if the ‘ins’ were more than three or four.”

What's the latest with Miguel Almiron's injury – and will he miss much of pre-season with United?

MS: “The news was better than many had expected. It’s reported as being a mild strain, so this shouldn’t affect him too much. Obviously, his involvement in pre-season will be affected by Paraguay’s Copa America campaign, and I’m writing this before their quarter-final against Peru. In any case, he’ll need a rest before he starts pre-season in earnest, as he’s had a gruelling 12 months.”

LK: “Almiron will not be a part of the United squad when they return due to his involvement and injury in the Copa America. It is expected, after a break, he will return for the latter stages of the summer, though.”

Do you think Federico Fernandez will be a Newcastle player next season?

MS: “I hope so. Fernandez, we know, is settled at the club, and on Tyneside, but this deal must be right for him and the club. He’s 32, so this is an important deal for him, possibly his last big contract. Newcastle, we also know, have previously been reluctant to keep players into their 30s.”

LK: “It is always hard to second guess these things but I’d imagine he’s more likely to stay than go. But again, you just never know.”

Any update on the takeover?

MS: “Not an update, as such, but the call for transparency from a bullish Mike Ashley is certainly bold. The arbitration process has been shrouded in secrecy so far, and there are more questions than answers. Various moves, including this one, have increased the pressure on the Premier League. Importantly, the proposed takeover is still in play.”

LK: “Confidence on buyer and seller side is very high. Feels as high as ever. Read into that what you will. Do so at one’s own peril.”

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