Newcastle United; Jan 2008 Transfer Window Round-up - Week 4


Colin Illingworth

Colin is a sub-editor on a regional newspaper and is a die-hard Aberdeen fan. He's prepared to sell his soul to the Devil for the Dons to return to their former glory so Satan, if you're reading this, give him a call!...
[full biography]
28/01/2008 11:30:00.
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Kevin Keegan’s return to St James’ Park has not gone to plan. In his two games in charge he has seen his side stifled by Bolton Wanderers, knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal and he is still waiting for them to score their first goal. He knew that he had a massive job on his hands to turn the club around but I don’t think he believed it was going to be this hard. And his forays into the transfer market have been equally frustrating with a number of players opting to stay away from St James’ Park.

The Daily Star began the week by claiming that Keegan had a wish list of potential signings which included Portsmouth’s Sol Campbell, Manchester City’s Micah Richards and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick (21/1/08). However, Portsmouth quickly issued a hands off warning to Keegan for their former Arsenal and England defender (Sporting Life) while it was reported that Keegan was also interested in signing Reading’s Nicky Shorey (

Newcastle fans were thrilled with the news that striker Shola Ameobi was a target for Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth (Newcastle Evening Chronicle 22/1/08) but it stressed that any move for the youngster would not result in Campbell moving up north.

The Daily Mirror produced a whopper of a story by claiming that Mike Ashley could be about to use his vast commercial links to secure the signing of the world’s most famous footballer David Beckham (22/1/08). Can you imagine what that would do for shirt sales?! The same day it was reported that Keegan was prepared to give Micah Richards £70,000 a week to join Newcastle (Daily Mail) but his hopes of landing Nicky Shorey were dealt a blow with the news that the England international was prepared to sign a new deal at the Madejski Stadium to become the club’s highest-paid player (various). It was to be the first of many knockbacks this week.

The Daily Mail reported that Richards was due to sign a new long-term contract at Eastlands although the Manchester Evening News gave Keegan some heart by stating that the story was completely false (23/1/08). Also that day Newcastle made noises about wanting Middlesbrough’s Jonathan Woodgate back on Tyneside (Press Association), The Sun said the Magpies were considering a bid for West Ham’s Dean Ashton, the Daily Mirror linked the club with Liverpool’s John Arne Riise and Keegan was warned to stay away from Blackburn’s David Bentley (Daily Star).

Keegan appeared to be winning the race for Woodgate’s signature ahead of Tottenham Hotspur but that idea was blown out of the water on Saturday following the Magpies’ FA Cup exit at Arsenal with the manager admitting that it looked as though the former Real Madrid and Leeds United defender would be joining Spurs instead. However, it transpired that Spurs’ Pascal Chimbonda was all geared up for a move to Tyneside following an angry tirade against the White Hart Lane club. But then on Sunday the News of the World reported that the glove-wearing defender may be about to join Sevilla instead.

Elsewhere, Newcastle were linked with Dynamo Zagreb midfielder Luka Modric (The Sun) and Lazio striker Goran Pandev (Times) but Keegan’s hopes of signing Wes Brown also took a knock as the News of the World claimed that Brown was due to sign a new deal to keep him at Old Trafford.

Keegan has so far been unable to turn the euphoria on Tyneside on to the pitch but he can’t be pleased with what he has to work with just now and I’d be stunned if there weren’t any new arrivals at the club before the window closes.

All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 1 Round-up
All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 2 Round-up
All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 3 Round-up
All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 4 Round-up

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