NEWCASTLE United are in danger of becoming victims of their own success in the transfer market as Alan Pardew steps up his bid to strengthen his squad, writes Ross Gregory.
The Magpies failed with a £4million bid for Lille full-back Matthieu Debuchy yesterday, while they were also linked with a move for Dutch striker Luuk de Jong.
United have not made an approach yet for de Jong, despite claims of them slapping in an £8million bid.
But with Twente understood to value the frontman at £12million, the Magpies know they won’t get the player on the cheap if they do decide to act.
And with Lille demanding double what Newcastle offered for Debuchy, Mike Ashley must decide whether to put his hand in his pocket or stick to his original valuation of the French full-back.
The problem Newcastle have is that they’ve made their name in recent seasons for capturing players for bargain prices – and this has put continental clubs on red alert.
Cheik Tiote cost a mere £3.5million when he signed from Twente, while United paid just £4.8million for Yohan Cabaye and around £5million for Hatem Ben Arfa.
And the £9million they forked out for Papiss Demba Cisse in January looked a snip by the end of the season after he rattled in 13 goals in 14 games.
Add those to free transfer captures Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux and Newcastle now have a reputation for getting players for relatively cheap prices.
The success of this policy, however, means that clubs are now more wary when United enquire about their players.
Ashley and chief executive Derek Llambias remain committed to driving a hard bargain in transfer negotiations, and as they showed with their pursuit of Watford’s Adrian Mariappa in January, they won’t pay over their valuation of a player.
That could make it difficult for Pardew to recruit his first-choice players this summer, though chief scout Graham Carr has compiled an extensive list of potential targets,
One player who has left the club is reserve-team strike Dan Taylor, who completed a move to Oldham after his release.
He leaves with a ringing endorsement from Peter Beardsley, who worked closely with the youngster during his time on Tyneside.
Beardsley told the Oldham official website: “Dan’s future development opportunities would have been limited at Newcastle due to the strategic plan for our development squads.
“I feel that given the right opportunity, Dan can have a very good future in the game and will develop further into a very good player. Dan’s size and strength does not reflect his young age and he has a very good goalscoring record.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Dan for a number of years and his approach and attitude to both training and games has been first class.”