More transfer speculation – more midfielders for Newcastle

Posted on June 15th, 2011 | 27 Comments |

Tranquillo Barnetta: alleged Newcastle target with an excellent name.
Swiss midfield target?
Newcastle United are allegedly pursuing yet another two midfielders in an attempt to build the largest midfield in history. Birmingham’s Craig Gardner and Bayer Leverkusen’s Tranquillo Barnetta are today’s offerings.

Of course, not all transfer speculation is true. In fact most of it isn’t. But if you ever needed an extra hint that some of it might not be true then you need to look no further than Newcastle’s alleged attempts to sign every midfielder in world football. And there’s a couple more to come in this article.

Craig Gardner has been mentioned in connection with Newcastle a few times recently and it seems we’re in a race with the Mackems to sign him having supposedly matched their £5m bid for the player.

The 24 year-old Birmingham player’s first choice of position is central midfield, although he can play on the right of midfield and as a right-back too, which might at least provide some cover for Danny Simpson. Gardner has scored 17 goals in 132 appearances which have all been for Midlands clubs, first for Aston Villa and then for Birmingham from 2010 onwards.

Last season was a fairly decent one for Gardner in which he bagged 10 goals in 37 appearances, making him the relegated club’s top scorer.

The Daily Mail also has us ‘closing in’ on Tranquillo Barnetta, the Swiss midfielder who scored twice against England at Wembley recently. The 26 year-old is currently signed up with Bayer Leverkusen and thought to be available for around £6m. He’s apparently injured at the moment but it’s fair to say he has a rather excellent name (almost as good as Charlotte Rampling) and is probably worth buying just for that.

Anyway, here’s a video of some goals and assists from Barnetta for anyone interested:

All of which leads me to believe that a lot of this transfer speculation is tosh. If we add The Zog to the list of targets that must make for about half a dozen midfielders we’re allegedly pursuing on top of having already signed Yohan Cabaye, which seems a bit excessive to me.

Whilst I’m here, let me get a gripe out of my system. There has been a trend in the press recently to say that clubs ‘swoop’ for a player. They don’t ‘buy’ or ‘acquire’ players because clearly that’s not dramatic enough: instead they make a veritable ‘swoop’ for them. This really irritates me and I want them to stop.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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27 Responses

  1. HUGH,

    every one looks good on You tube.

    if i put in my video you will see some of the defence splitting passes i ve made from midfield.

    any ways I think if routledge is gone or about to go Barnetta would be great choice. not too keen on that gardner.

  2. Also, did gardner not score the goal that relegated us in 09. deflected of duff

  3. Gardeners a no for me, tho I think it’s more likely paper talk, barnetta might be decent for the right price. Prob fits into our wage structure as well

  4. Barnetta for right wing sounds almost so feasable it cant possibly true, that smacks of the club planning around what is needed as opposed to which agent tickled their balls the most

    I am growing increasingly cynical in my old age though….

  5. latest paper piffle from SSN website;

    Newcastle are set to pay Demba Ba’s agents a staggering £2million – to beat off Everton in the race for his signature. – Mirror

    Newcastle are bidding to steal a march on Arsenal with an £8million swoop for Saint-Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi. – Star

    Newcastle are closing in on the signing of Switzerland’s Tranquillo Barnetta from Bayer Leverkusen. – Daily Fail

    I thought we had moved away from the whole pandering to agents days?

  6. The press seem to want to create a ‘fake fight’ between us & the mackems for gardner. Maybe we should put a bid in (like ebay) just to up the price for s*land?
    Make ’em pay a bit more than they would like.


  7. I’m sure I had a bottle of red called Tranquillo Barnetta at the weekend. And where can I get one of these ball-tickling agents from, they sound great.

  8. Clint – I agree, its times like these I remember why I read the Telegraph

    (oh wait, thats just because my Dad buys it lol)

  9. Hugh,
    us Magpies invariably ‘swoop’ too, don’t we?
    I hate it when a team ‘eyes’ a player too.


  10. MonkeySan,
    Aye mate,
    it’s times like these that remind me why i don’t read any of the ragloids.

    They do ya’ nut in!


  11. Hugh – surely the translation of ‘Tranquillo barnetta’ is ‘peaceful wig’? ……. :))

  12. @mothboy, first laugh of the day with your ‘balltickling agents’ quote, comedy gold, on a serious note all this, ‘giving the eyes to players’and ‘swooping’ sounds abit stalkerish to me, instead just place a firm bid for the swines, but as its said in earlier weeks pardew is keeping his cards close, could there be a possibilty that pardews saying hes interested in these players to pre-occupy rivalling teams in the market, while we make a ‘swoop’ for a serious player?…with the likes of that cockney squad rambling around up tyne, highly unlikely, but i glimmer of hope non the less.

  13. Yep midfielders !
    Hope they have the pitch widened by the seasons start, cause it will be hard to fit an eight across midfield.

    Heard the club only bid £3m. for M’Bengue ?
    In case anyone was wondering why he had’nt showed up !

    So now it’s becoming apparent who our real targets are, obviously any free agent, the likes of Gardiner, Taylor, Brown, Hoilett, yeah all big names.
    While keeping the fans happy by pretending to go for the likes of Barnetta and Sulijemani and half the French league.

    Guess we are lucky to have Cabeye, but a French international for around £5m., that’s cheap !

    Guess nothing has changed much, still the same old cheapo !

  14. MonkeySan says:

    “Barnetta for right wing sounds almost so feasable it cant possibly true, that smacks of the club planning around what is needed as opposed to which agent tickled their balls the most”

    Know exactly what you mean MS !! As I said before there’s people who believe we have a strategy in place and Carr is whizzing all over the shop settiing up deal after deal. I suspect the reality is probably nearer MS’s ball ticklers :)

    If NUFC seriously want to make a go of global talent spotting then they should take on board the lessons learned from the Udinese model.

    “Udinese built up a network of 50 scouts around the world, concentrated primarily in South America and Africa. They focused especially on youngsters from second-tier nations, and duly found Alexis Sanchez as a 16-year-old in Chile. He cost just €2m, but his sale this summer will merely consummate a policy that has already yielded a transfer surplus of €112m over the past decade.

    Stars to have used Udinese as a stepping stone include David Pizarro, Asamoah Gyan, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Sulley Muntari, Andrea Dossena, Fabio Quagliarella and Gaetano D’Agostino.

    Unlike so many clubs with a reputation for grooming young talent, however, Udinese have consolidated their status to the extent that they can now provide Champions League football themselves”

  15. chuck says:

    “Guess nothing has changed much, still the same old cheapo !”

    It’s the Sports Direct mantra Chuck :)

  16. the chronic is linking us with a move for serbian frontman,miralem sulejmani from ajax.i dont know much this kid,is he any good?.

  17. As we’re going to lose Nolan, I’d think about going back in for Ireland if his fitness is okay. One source mentioned we’d go for Reo-Coker if Nolan went, but that’s not really a replacement (maybe as cover for Tiote).

    I was thinking ‘why on earth do we need more mf’s!?” bit maybe we do if Nolan and Barton end up going!

  18. All these midfielders could actually be replacements for those already at the club so we wont necessarily be overloaded with midfielders even if we do sing a bunch of them.

    Nolan is allegedly having a medical at West Ham today, Barton is by no means certain to be here, Routledge is going.

    On top of that Gosling and Ben Arfa have had major long term injuries and so there might be a feeling they can’t be relied upon to play the majority of our games and that we need extra cover due to that.

  19. Sad to see Wor Kev leave, but if it helps clear the dressing room of leaders with opinions then Fatman’ll be all for it :)

  20. Barnetta is a bit of a lightweight but very sound technically. Great free kicks vs England could be a weapon we don’t currently possess in the squad. Unlikely? Perhaps. I would thought he would cost more than 6m but the transfer market seems to be a bit peculiar the last few seasons.

    Gardner would maybe be seen as a replacement for Nolan who seems to be creeping ever closer to the door. Can provide goals from midfield but based on what has been speculated not sure where he would fit in.