WATFORD have slapped a £4million price tag on defender Adrian Mariappa – and Newcastle United are ready to look elsewhere for a defensive recruit, writes Miles Starforth.
The club this week had a bid, reportedly £750,000, rejected for the 25-year-old.
And Vicarage Road manager Sean Dyce reacted furiously, saying the offer “was nowhere near what we think he’s worth.”
Newcastle could yet up their bid, but the two sides seem too far apart for a deal to be thrashed out between now and the end of the month.
United manager Alan Pardew is determined to strengthen his defence, having lost Steven Taylor to a season-ending injury.
West Ham United resisted Newcastle’s approach for James Tomkins – the centre-half has signed a new deal keeping him at Upton Park until 2016 – and Watford are playing hardball over Mariappa.
Pardew refused to talk about the Mariappa bid and the club’s remaining transfer business in an interview last night.
“We’ve tried to be honest and my philosophy with the media and the fans is to get the message out there of what’s going on,” Pardew said.
“I don’t like there to be hidden surprises, but unfortunately in the transfer market it’s very difficult.
“We’ve had big success in the transfer market recently and that’s not been lost on other teams.
“When we come in for a player, suddenly another club gets interested and the prices start going up.”
Meanwhile, Dyce is adamant Mariappa will not be leaving Vicarage Road unless United make a fourfold increase to their original offer, something Newcastle are unlikely to do, given their stance on transfers.
In the Mike Ashley era, the club has more often than not walked away if its valuation has fallen significantly short of that of the selling club.
“It was a very simple chain of events,” said Dyce. “A bid was made and we need to make it clear that it was nowhere near what we consider to be his valuation.”
“We have a club policy where we don’t give valuations because you get into weird territory, but it was nowhere near what we think he is worth.
“If those figures reach what this club think is appropriate then we’ll talk about it, but they’re miles away at this moment in time.”