Newcastle are unlikely to be signing Manchester United’s Juan Mata this summer, according to reputable reporter Mark Douglas.
Fans woke up to talk of the Spanish maestro joining on a free transfer this summer to kick-start a Rafa revolution.
He said: “Juan Mata is well known to Rafa Benitez and in an ideal world he’s exactly the sort of player he’d like to helm his midfield next season.
“He’s got experience, know-how and Benitez, who knows he needs midfield support next season with Isaac Hayden and Mo Diame set to depart, will have noted that he’ll be available this summer.
“Would the club go for a 31-year-old who will command in excess of £100,000 a week? I just cannot see it – and I don’t think it’d be make or break for the contract talks.”
So a sharp reality check for fans, with another rumour shot down in flames before it has even fully ignited.
Newcastle transfer policy needs compromise
The days of Newcastle signing a top player, reaching the back-end of their career, are over. Ashley will not sanction moves that he sees as throwing money down the drain.
His interest only lies in buying player he knows he can sell at a profit in later years.
Newcastle will never aspire to better things as long as they are seen as a feeder club for young stars, however.
No one wants another Michael Owen scenario. But there has to be some middle ground.
A player with vast experience and quality that can clearly add something to the team should not be discounted just because he is over 25-years-old.
A player over 25 could still have a good seven or eight years of top-flight football left. If that time is spent at St James’ Park, surely that still represents value for money?
It is time to let the football expert decide football matters. Failure to do so will see the Magpies languish in the Premier League nether regions for years to come.