MAURICIO ISLA, the £14m deal, the claims and the counter-claims. Either way, it is a deal that will not be happening so Newcastle United fans can forget it.
A Chilean newspaper started things rolling yesterday by claiming the World Cup full-back was on his way to St James’ Park this summer in a whopping deal.
Now, fair play to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley this summer for the deals he has completed already, but £14m for a full-back? However versatile, that does not sound the Ashley way.
And so it proved. Despite sources in Italy getting carried away by the suggestions the Juventus man was swapping Turin for Tyneside, it has been refuted by well placed sources at St James’.
It would seem Isla’s name has been floated around the Premier League and he could have been an option to replace the departed Mathieu Debuchy. The price-tag, however, was not Newcastle’s style and they landed Daryl Janmaat for more than half that.
Transfer likelihood rating: 3/10
DEBUCHY’S move to Arsenal has given Newcastle some leverage in their attempts to strengthen their attacking options, however.
It has emerged that teenager Serge Gnabry has been mentioned by the Magpies, who hope the Gunners starlet will be interested in heading to the North-East to gain further first team experience.
Arsenal introduced him more to the Premier League stage last season and he impressed more often than not, so Arsene Wenger would have to seriously think about allowing it to happen.
But for a season long loan, Newcastle could get something done. There is also interest from Sunderland, among others, but Newcastle appear to have the upper-hand because of the Debuchy deal.
Transfer likelihood rating: 6/10
IF you missed it yesterday, Sylvain Marveaux has left Newcastle on his own season-long loan. He has moved to Guingamp. Unfortunately his time at St James’ cannot be viewed as a success because he hardly figured.
When he did there were flashes of the sort of talent which earned him a Premier League move in the first place, but injuries and others picked ahead of him meant his Newcastle stay could never really be regarded as worthwhile.
Transfer likelihood rating: 10/10
SUNDERLAND played last night at Carlisle and they play again tonight at Hartlepool. Then Gustavo Poyet will be taking his team to Portugal, but it does not look like there will be any new faces in the squad by next Monday.
The Black Cats have been trying but the Fabio Borini deal appears to have distracted them. A failure to complete a £14m deal for the Italian at this stage has confused things. Do they wait until late August to try again, or look to spend in other areas?
Gnabry, as mentioned above with Newcastle, is an alternative option on a season-long loan but Sunderland fans will be looking for more than that to start the new season after learning there was the £14m to invest on Borini. Could be Gnabry be that man?
Transfer likelihood rating: 5/10
DOWN the road at Middlesbrough, it is very much a case of the same thing all over again. Jelle Vossen, despite his demands to move to Middlesbrough, has now had the added complication of interest in him from Olympiacos.
The Greek club have earmarked Vossen as a potential striker to come in to bolster their Champions League squad and that could still spell bad news for Boro. If Vossen does want this Riverside switch badly then he may have to take matters in to his own hands, which will not be what he should or will want to do after being worshipped for his goals return for Genk.
Transfer likelihood rating: 7/10