Thursday, March 16, 2006

Striking revelations

A couple of very interesting bits of tittle-tattle in today's papers which may well come to nothing but which are worthy of a mention.

First up, in the Sun Athletico Madrid striker and captain Fernando Torres has said we've made him a offer in advance of a proposed summer move to Tyneside: "There has always been talk about lots of clubs but I only know one firm offer and that's from Newcastle". Other clubs rumoured to be interested include the London trio of Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs.

While we'd never be able to compete were Chelsea to express serious interest, our chances would also probably evaporate if Arsenal can find the £15m, Torres having already expressed an interest in joining them. (Incidentally, Torres's choice of words was revealing: "If Arsenal and a coach like Arsene Wenger want to speak to you it's really flattering". Coaches really do attract players, which is why not having someone permanently installed in the position might hamper our attempts at recruitment.) With Spurs it would be a straight fight, but it's hard to believe that none of Europe's big clubs would register an interest.

I don't know much about Torres, except that he's young, talented and very highly thought of in Spain. He had a disappointing Euro 2004, but then so did Spain and as one of the youngest members of the squad the blame could hardly be placed on his shoulders. That said, £15m is an awful lot of money and I can't help thinking (partly because of our problems with Luque, who is still to come good) that a club like Arsenal, who already have Cesc Fabregas and Jose Antonio Reyes, would be better suited to him.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reckons we're keeping an eye on what transpires at Old Trafford regarding Ruud van Nistelrooy's situation. Like most followers of football, I imagine, I can't quite comprehend what's happening there. Louis Saha might be in a rich vein of form, but he often fails to hit the target and Horseface is an absolutely lethal marksman, one of the best in the business. There must have been some kind of falling-out behind the scenes that we don't know about.

In any case, how it's got to this point is not a matter to concern us. The simple fact is that if Horseface is available - and especially at the £7m figure that has been bandied about in the press before - we should bite Taggart's arm off if he wants to put him out to stud. He might be much older than Torres, but for half the money we'd be getting a striker familiar with the demands of the Premiership and accustomed to terrorising its defences. Plus it would stop him scoring against us...

All pie-in-the-sky talk, of course, but it doesn't hurt to dream once in a while...


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