We’re all for Newcastle United stories, in fact, we welcome them, but some of the stuff that has come out since news the club was in the middle of a takeover has been hard to wrap our head around.
We’d like to make it clear that it’s not that we don’t believe the stories, but while the Magpies might be aiming for bigger names than they are used to in the transfer market, there is a limit when it comes to who will want to move to St James’ Park this summer.
Take Dries Mertens, for example: the forward is out of contract in the summer as things stand, and while it was reported Newcastle were keen on offering him a contract, the Belgian just let their interest ‘slip away’.
The latest story involves one of his teammates at Napoli, Kalidou Koulibaly, a centre-back targeted by some of the biggest names in football.
While Newcastle might be a very reputable club, its previous few years in the Premier League (and Championship) don’t make it the ideal landing spot for a player entering the back end of his career, especially when teams like Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are after him.
Despite this, it’s believed in Italy the Premier League club have made an attempt to sign the Senegal international, with the sports desk at 7 Gold in Italy giving some detail.
Relayed by Area Napoli, they said: “Newcastle want Koulibaly at all costs. The English club contacted Napoli, and aware of Real Madrid’s interest in the player, told [Aurelio] De Laurentiis: ‘We will offer €10m more than what [Madrid] offer’. His reaction? Faced with a big figure, he’d be willing to negotiate.”
They go on to explain De Laurentiis is ‘waiting for a number of at least €80-90m’ for his star centre-back, and they feel it’s difficult to see Koulibaly staying in Naples beyond the summer.
Whether he will end up at Newcastle, however, is doubtful.
Then again, crazier things have happened in football.
Remember that Robinho transfer to Manchester City?