Sunday, July 01, 2012

Double Dutch?

Sky were among those reporting on Friday that we've stepped up our bid to sign FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong. A former club colleague and current international teammate of Tim Krul, de Jong was prolific in the Eredivisie last season and would, I think, be an excellent addition to the squad, particularly as he's just 21 and therefore has plenty of potential resale value.

It doesn't promise to be plain sailing, though. Not only has manager Steve McLaren declared he's under no pressure to sell de Jong and that only an "absurd bid" could meet with any success, but according to the Star we also face competition from German outfit Borussia Moenchengladbach. Prising Douglas away from Twente looks no more straightforward, with McClaren claiming the Brazilian is "the best defender in Holland".

Meanwhile, over in France we've had the encouraging news that Mathieu Debuchy has declared his desire to leave Lille. Whether he follows Dreamboat to Tyneside hinges on a few factors - not least coach Rudi Garcia finding a suitable replacement, Lille not holding out for a hefty fee and us holding off rival suitors (Inter Milan have been mentioned).

And what of outgoing players? Danny Guthrie's wasted no time in signing for Premier League new boys Reading, where he'll be joined by Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak. The two acquisitions constitute something of a statement of intent from the Royals, one which I'm sure Lanterne Rouge will be pleased to note. Let's hope lobster thermidore isn't on the menu at Guthrie's welcoming dinner...

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