In today’s market, it seems ludicrous that such a prestigious club as Newcastle United have never spent more than £15m on a player in the transfer window.
When the Magpies signed Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005, there was belief among the fans that the club would keep pace with the big teams in the Premier League. Instead, they’ve seen a fluctuation in form, and never again reached the price paid for the former England striker.
The club has come close to breaking that record in recent years, most notably spending £14.5m to bring in PSV Eindhoven midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, although they’ve not been willing to spend above that record set more than a decade ago.
This has all been much to the displeasure of Newcastle’s fans, who believe in order for them to compete in the league they must also be willing to be competitive and spend aggressively in the market.
However, Magpies owner Mike Ashley and the fans don’t seem to share this same ethos, with the former seemingly keeping a tight grip on his wallet. Subsequently, under the reign of Rafael Benitez, Newcastle have missed out on a host of players, including Sandro Ramirez and Nicolai Jorgensen, and have been fortunate not to pay the price for such miserly spending.
But now, according to Chronicle writer Mark Douglas, Newcastle could finally be set to break their long standing transfer record, thanks in no small part to the mass inflation of transfer fees over the past two years.
An agent of a number of Premier League strikers told Douglas: “If Newcastle want to buy a striker for £12m, I don’t know where they’re going to find him.”
They also explained that clubs in the upper echelons of English football are expected to pay at least £25m for a top class striker in the current market. Whether they’re willing to meet that price will most likely determine the success of their business this summer and, more importantly, the season ahead.
Their lack of desire to spent above the £15m threshold set back in 2005 is reportedly why deals for Michy Batshuayi, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have all fallen through.
Its is also why, instead of ending up with Jorgensen in January, they found themselves penning a loan deal for a half-fit Islam Slimani.
However, with Newcastle finally harbouring a considerable transfer kitty, with more set to come in via sales, Ashley’s typical caution in the market could somewhat subside and, consequently, Benitez should be afforded the opportunity to welcome a new record signing to St James’ Park.