Revealed! Newcastle United's near TWO-year, FOUR-window pursuit of Scotland international Ryan Fraser
The former Bournemouth and Aberdeen wideman flew to Newcastle Airport this morning, arriving just before Noon, and was whisked off in a club hire vehicle, before being taken to the training ground and St James’s Park to smooth out the finer details of a long-term free transfer deal. A provisional medical slot was also booked in for the player.
Should Fraser put pen to paper he would become Steve Bruce’s third bosman summer signing, following on from Mark Gillespie and Jeff Hendrick.
But this Fraser pursuit is not something thought up this summer, nor is it something in the making this year. Here Liam Kennedy explains United’s FOUR window chase of the 26-year-old, who finally looks set to boost the ranks at St James’s Park.
Winter window 2019
The Gazette can reveal United's decision-makers have been chasing the former Aberdeen and Bournemouth wideman since the start of 2019, with talks over a move beginning while Rafa Benitez was still in charge on Tyneside.
The Spaniard was a big fan of the player, so too were the club’s scouting network, both impressed by the Scot’s form in 2018/19 in which he formed a lethal partnership with fellow Newcastle target Callum Wilson and Joshua King.
Summer window 2019
It is understood the player and the Cherries expected United to make a permanent move last summer, following up their January enquiries.
But on and off field uncertainty saw no such bid come to fruition.
United’s switch in manager from Benitez to Bruce and the delays which haunted that summer window saw the Fraser deal shelved.
Winter window 2020
Fraser continued to be linked with a move to the top six of the Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal two clubs who registered their interest.
The player seemingly intent on a summer move away from the relegation-threatened Cherries, in freefall at the time, started the process of changing his agent, breaking from his representative since his was a kid at Aberdeen.
Meanwhile, United looked to strengthen in other areas after a loan deal for Valentino Lazaro was earmarked.
Summer window 2020
Newcastle tried to get the player tied down on a pre-contract in May but the player, at that stage, opted to keep his options open with top six talk still on the agenda.
No such interest from the top six is believed to have resulted in successful talks, opening the door for United again along with two other Premier League clubs, Crystal Palace and West Ham United.
This summer there was constant, continued dialogue between Fraser's representatives and Newcastle.
Fraser walked away from the Cherries on May 30, at the end of his contract and has been without a club since then, training on his own on the south coast.
A deal has been verbally agreed with United for some time and despite reported interest from Celtic – they wouldn’t get close to even matching his Bournemouth wages – Newcastle appear to have won the day with Fraser now on Tyneside to seal the deal.