Monday, June 13, 2005

Revolving Door

The Newcastle departure lounge has seen further business today, with confirmation that Andy O'Brien has joined Pompey for a fee of around £2 million and Laurent Robert a Trotter in all but name at the moment, and a fee of between £1-2 million being bandied about.

Assuming the Robert deal goes through for £1.5 million, that'll take Souness' summer transfer income from player sales up to the 5 million mark. With big name players such as Bellamy, Viana, Bowyer and Butt still possible departures, and Darren Ambrose also looking on his way out, Souness could well raise a pot of over £15 million if he can find buyers prepared to meet our asking price.

Where he then spends this money (together with any given to him by the board) remains to be seen, although approximately £6 million looks bound for Chelsea in exchange for Scott Parker. Stories also doing the rounds link us with another move for Sylvain Distin and with the glaring need to sign a striker and keep the local Greggs in business (having parted company with Fat Pat) have seen the press suggest a move for pie-lover Mark Viduka is on the cards.

Whether either comes off (or indeed if the Parker deal ever goes through) remains to be seen: personally, I feel the signing of Distin would add better depth to the squad, however I'd hardly welcome Viduka with open arms – he may have a decent scoring record, but he looks like he may have lost his hunger for the fight.

Even if these players do all come on board, that would still leave us looking under strength if any injury should befall one of our first choice full backs, and still in need of a fourth striker (unless Chopra has matured massively as a player in the last twelve months).

Still the transfer merry-go-round has well and truly started, and we'll be watching the arrivals lounge with interest.


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