As the transfer window continues to be a bleak talking point for Newcastle fans, Gelson Martins is the latest linked player.
The Portuguese star hasn’t been a regular since his move to Atletico Madrid. However, a move to the Premier League has been touted as the 23-year-old winger looks to reignite his career.
Both Arsenal and the Magpies have been credited with an interest. A short-term loan agreement for £4 million is what looks like being the only way for either club to lure the player to these shores.
Few can blame the Toon Army faithful for remaining pessimistic, however. Mike Ashley has refused to back Rafael Benitez in previous windows – even making a net profit during the summer’s edition. With the manager’s contract still up in the air, there remains great doubt that the club’s owner would fork out such a sum for a short-term deal.
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Martins would be a welcome addition
The winger would certainly be a welcome addition on Tyneside, but there is a lot to be done yet before fans will believe the rumour. Mike Ashley has gone on record several times to say that the club can use all the money it generates. Although this is the case, there have been numerous occasions when the Magpies simply haven’t reinvested.
In the summer, Ashley was reluctant to splash the cash to make the Salomon Rondon deal permanent. Instead, Benitez had to loan out Dwight Gayle in order to get his man in for 12 months.
The Spaniard has prioritised attacking options over several transfer windows and continues to do so. It appears that loans are, like last January, the only way to make Ashley part with his cash. However, is the reported fee going to price United out of the exciting deal?
With little over a week left before this season’s January edition slams shut, it could be the most crucial week of Newcastle’s recent history. Fail to back their manager and they’ll be back to square one and staring relegation in the face.