Newcastle were said to be close to finalising the prospective deal for Hoffenheim striker Joelinton last week, but are still yet to announce it as completed, and it is nothing new at St James’ Park.
We saw a similar situation with the protracted negotiations in the January transfer window over Miguel Almiron, which seemed to last the entire month, before it came to a successful conclusion.
It happens time and again with Newcastle, and more often than not, we do not get the targeted player.
Dennis Praet, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Andreas Samaris are just three who Newcastle were supposedly in talks with, before submitting offers deemed unacceptable to their clubs.
Many fans point to the lack of footballing background of managing director Lee Charnley as the reason for the difficulty in doing quick deals.
It is hard to argue with that argument, which is why it is unfathomable that we do not have a director of football at the club.
By employing someone with a football background, who could oversee transfer deals, and could relate to what players need and hope for, Newcastle could significantly improve their transfer success rate.
With the club now adopting the head coach approach, instead of the more traditional manager, it suggests that they are trying to separate the footballing side and the transfer side – despite Steve Bruce’s insistence that he will have the final say.
If that is their intention, leaving all transfer business to just a head scout and Lee Charnley is a mistake.
Newcastle tried a footballing director before but chose the wrong personnel
Of course, they did make a bungled attempt to follow the football director model before when they tried both Joe Kinnear and Dennis Wise in similar positions.
That was always destined to fail, particularly given their association with Mike Ashley, and Wise’s fractious relationship with Kevin Keegan.
But if they did it properly, it is something the club would undoubtedly benefit from, particularly if they get the right man in.
The ideal candidate would have a solid, thorough footballing background, and ideally, an association with Newcastle United.
The name that would spring to most fans’ minds would be Alan Shearer – but that will never happen while Ashley owns the club.
But more realistic candidates like Les Ferdinand, Rob Lee or David Ginola would also be fantastic possibilities.
It is too late to bring anyone in before the end of the summer window, however, with the irony being the need for swift deals to be done before it closes.
It will be a big test for Charnley, and if he fails to bring in the quality and numbers needed, it will be a disaster for the football club, highlighting the need for restructuring.