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Newcastle United news RECAP: Salomon Rondon's message to Miguel Almiron; Rochdale tickets on sale

Hello and welcome to our Newcastle United live blog on Tuesday, December 17.

The Magpies will look to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at Burnley when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw in a fiercely-contested derby with Brighton on Monday night. Wilfried Zaha's late strike cancelled out Neal Maupay's opener for the Seagulls.

Elsewhere, would-be Newcastle United owners GACP Sports have sold their stake in Bordeaux after falling out with co-investor King Street Capital Management.

Stick with us for all the latest reaction from St James' Park and remember to follow our Instagram account ( @ChronicleNUFC ) and our NEW transfers Facebook group where you can get notifications to your phone when anything happens.

Signing off

That’s all from us tonight folks. Here’s a look at today’s top stories:

Best NUFC side of 2019?

How much difference is there between Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle side and the team Steve Bruce has to work with?

That’s a question which many Magpies fans have debated, with United currently better off in the Premier League table than they were this time last year.

Under Benitez, Newcastle finished the 2018-19 season strongly while, after a slow start, Bruce’s men have begun to pick up valuable points this time around.

But what’s the strongest United side you can pick from the players to have turned out in black-and-white throughout 2019?

You can cast your vote here.

RVI visit

It was all smiles at the Royal Victoria Infirmary as Newcastle United players paid their annual Christmas visit.

Players from the first team, the under 23s, and the women’s team were all present as they helped spread festive cheer on Tuesday.

Speaking to the club’s website, head coach Steve Bruce said: “If you can brighten up somebody’s day who’s not well, then that’s a gift in itself,”

Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) is greeted by a fan during the Annual Newcastle United Hospital Visits
Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) is greeted by a fan during the Annual Newcastle United Hospital Visits (Image: Newcastle United via Getty Images)

“I’ve just sat with a little lad whose first two years of his life have been in hospital. He’s had a heart transplant already and he’s awaiting a kidney, which he’s getting off his dad. So if we can brighten his day a little bit, it just goes to show how lucky we are to have fit and healthy children and grandchildren.

“The one thing we all take for granted is that, but when something does happen then great hospitals like we’re in today help people get better. It’s a humbling experience because you do realise a lot of people are having a tough time and if we can brighten it just a little bit then for those kids, it’s worthwhile.”

You can read the full story here.

Allardyce on Cacapa sub

Former Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce has revealed the thinking behind substituting Claudio Cacapa after just 18 minutes following a “nightmare” display against Portsmouth.

The Brazilian defender was replaced by David Rozehnal following a calamitous performance at St James’ Park on November 3, 2007, which saw the visitors score three times in the opening 11 minutes.

Noe Pamarot’s stunning strike handed Harry Redknapp’s side an early advantage, before John Utaka and Benjani both easily out-muscled Cacapa to give Pompey a commanding lead.

The Magpies pulled one back when Michael Owen’s shot deflected in off future United defender Sol Campbell, but a late Niko Krancjar free-kick ensured an emphatic end to Newcastle’s unbeaten home record that season.

Allardyce was asked about the change on talkSPORT on Monday following Everton’s caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson’s decision to replace substitute Moise Kean at Old Trafford at the weekend.

You can read the full story here.

'Miss me?'

Former Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon has asked Miguel Almiron if he misses him on Instagram...

Rochdale ticket info

Tickets are due to go on sale to ST holders with 20+ points this afternoon.

talkSPORT verdict on Almiron

talkSPORT has named Miguel Almiron as one of 10 Premier League players who need a transfer in January.

Their verdict on the Paraguayan international reads: “Blessed with sensational pace and great work ethic, Almiron’s lack of success at St James’ is certainly not down a lack of effort.

“Steve Bruce does not appear to know how to get the best out of the 25-year-old, but rather wants him to mould into his system.

Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth
Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth (Image: Getty Images)

“It is well over a year now since his last goal, with fans on the Toon yet to see why Rafa Benitez was so keen to make him the most lucrative MLS export in history.

“Having made just one assist this year, do not be surprised if Bruce looks to cash in to generate funds for his January budget.”

Palace injury crisis

Crystal Palace head to Newcastle this Saturday facing what Roy Hodgson has termed the ‘worst injury crisis’ during his time at the club.

While Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has plenty of injury concerns of his own - not least the fitness of Miguel Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey - Hodgson is set to be without six first-team players for Saturday’s St James’ Park clash.

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend and Gary Cahill
Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend and Gary Cahill

The former England boss said: “We have six players missing. It’s the worst injury crisis since I came to the club.”

You can read the full story here.

Ciaran Kelly's column

Here’s the latest column from Ciaran Kelly, focusing on Joseph DaGrosa, GACP Sports and their continued interest in NUFC.


Joseph DaGrosa referred to Bordeaux as the crown jewel in GACP Sports’ portfolio but the Ligue 1 side confirmed on Monday that the firm had sold their minority stake in the club to co-investor King Street Capital.

GACP have focused on sports investment in recent years - looking into broadcasting rights in Latin America, for example - and certainly planned a longer stint at Bordeaux following the takeover in July, 2018.

Indeed, the group originally had a five-year investment time frame in mind and had grand plans for the club’s academy and improving fans’ match day experience, even looking into the access to the Matmut Atlantique stadium. However, tensions behind the scenes between the club’s co-investors have ended GACP’s involvement.

To fund the takeover of Bordeaux in the first place, the group worked with King Street Capital, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, and Fortress, one of the largest debt providers in the world.

Inner Circle Sports, a boutique investment bank which specialises in corporate finance and as a capital raising service, were also involved.

Manquillo on the move?

Pundit Darren Bent believes Javier Manquillo may be tempted by a move away from Newcastle United.

West Ham have been credited with an interest in the defender, and former Sunderland and Aston Villa striker Bent believes the prospect of living in London could appeal to the 25-year-old.

Speaking to Football Insider, Bent said: “I hope Newcastle can hold onto him as they’re a big club.

“When you do well in a team that may be stuttering a little bit, it can be easier to go in and get them.

Dwight McNeil of Burnley runs from Javier Manquillo of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Newcastle United at Turf Moor
Dwight McNeil of Burnley runs from Javier Manquillo of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Newcastle United at Turf Moor (Image: Getty Images)

“But Newcastle is a great place to live, people think it’s funny when I say that but people have to take into consideration where people live.

“Newcastle is a great place to live, I lived there myself, I had a brilliant time and I know for a fact he’ll be enjoying himself up there but the only difficulty is when a team from London get involved.

“I’ve played with foreign players who have loved it at Birmingham, Derby and up around the midlands, but the moment a team from London come in, it’s a completely different kettle of fish.

“It’s the capital and it’s more so foreigners as they like the London lifestyle.

“You hope Newcastle can hold onto him, but sometimes it’s just so tough to hold on to these players.”

Tino wants to hear from you

Tino Asprilla had no problem keeping Newcastle United fans entertained during his dazzling spell on Tyneside.

Now the former Colombia striker wants fans to cheer him up during a stay in hospital.

Asprilla, now 50, is recovering from a bout of food poisoning and sent a post to his Instagram followers asking them for messages to keep him amused.

Tino Asprilla's instagram post from hospital
Tino Asprilla's instagram post from hospital

The social media post was accompanied by a picture of Asprilla smiling on a hospital bed, and is captioned: “I am looking at my Instagram and I noticed nobody has written to me.

“Write any silly thing to me because I am over here getting better.”

You can read the full story here.

PL announce referees for festive fixtures

Simon Hooper will be in charge of Saturday’s game against Palace.

Kevin Friend will be in charge of the Boxing Day game at Old Trafford.

Lee Mason will be in charge on the 28th against Everton.

And finally, Martin Atkinson will officiate on New Years Day when Leicester visit St James’.

John revealed his secret NUFC past on his 100th birthday

Something you might have seen recently in the NUFC match day programme. This from the Stirling Observer:

A man born in Port of Menteith waited until he was approaching his 100th birthday before telling family members his best-kept footballing secret .

Proud Scot John McNaughton, who now lives in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, revealed he had once played for Newcastle United.

His daughter Carol Siddle said modest John had never before mentioned his link with the Tyneside giants .

She wrote to the club about John and they confirmed he had indeed been with them during the early years of World War Two.

And to mark John’s 100th birthday, the Magpies included a story about him and his time at Gallowgate in the programme for the Newcastle versus Arsenal game on August 11 this year – nine days before he celebrated his 100th birthday.

Newcastle United historians could only find one other ex-United man who had reached a century.

Carol, 69, who lives near John, in Low Fell, said he still has an “amazing memory” about his life and adventures in and around Port of Menteith.

She added: “Recently he was coaching his great-grandchildren at football when his grandson asked what was the best team he’d played for in his youth. Astonishingly, the answer was Newcastle United and this was something he never mentioned before.”

As the Newcastle United programme points out, John was one of the many footballers whose careers were ruined by World War Two.

He joined the RAF in 1939 and was posted to many places in Britain but spent long periods at Ottercops and Bamburgh, both Northumberland, serving as a sergeant in the military police.

It was during his war service in the North East England he met his future wife Mary – and played in Newcastle United’s Northern Combination League side during season 1942-43.

Explaining his club link, the Newcastle United programme adds: `(John) was good enough to join the United squad but received an ankle injury which prevented him playing in further games. The Scot played for the RAF during the war, while a military policeman at airbases, and on peace being restored he settled in Chester-le-Street and continued to appear in local football until 1957.”

Will Newcastle spend big in January?

Rochdale have cup pedigree

And they will prove an acid test of Steve Bruce’s cup pledge. Colour piece from Boston last night.

Saturday's referee

Referee Simon Hooper
(Image: Huddersfield Examiner)

Newcastle’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday will be refereed by Simon Hooper.

This will be the first time he has taken charge of the Magpies this season.

Stuart Pearce reveals how Ruud Gullit ended his NUFC career

“I’d never been out of the team. Never - from the day I walked in as a professional or even as a non-league player at the age of 16. When I broke into the team, I never came out again through form.

“At the age of 37, I was put out of the team, and not just out of the team. I was ostracised with the young kids, and the young kids mentality was the manager don’t give a s*** about us. He don’t even know our names.

“Looking back now, I’ve got to say it was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me because if I had finished my career at the age of 40, I wouldn’t have the same mentality to what it’s like to be a player that doesn’t play on Saturday because I’d have never experienced it.

“To be fair, at the time I was a different animal. Ruud used to join in training, and I used to say to Rob Lee and Shearer ‘leave one short between the pair of them’, I used to give him everything I had.

“To be fair to Ruud, I’ve got to hold my hands up, he never once said watch your tackling in training.”

Arsenal set to appoint Mikel Arteta as manager

After Newcastle wanted the Manchester City assistant manager in the summer.

Rochdale boss reacts to setting up cup clash with Newcastle

Brian Barry-Murphy offered his thoughts after Rochdale beat Boston 2-1 in the FA Cup second round.

The profile of player Steve Bruce is targeting at NUFC

The January transfer window opens in 16 days but Newcastle United will only do business if the right opportunity comes along and there is a player available who will improve what Steve Bruce already has at his disposal.

Given how clubs are particularly keen to keep hold of their best players in the mid-season window, because there is so little time to replace them, that will be a big ask.

But, whatever happens next month, planning is already under way for the summer and it is worth remembering that Joelinton , Allan Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems were all aware of the Magpies’ interest several months before completing their moves to St James’ Park earlier this year.

A few things are already in place and Bruce has kept an eye on those players who are entering the final months of their contracts and who will be available on Bosman deals next summer.

The Newcastle head coach has a clear idea of what he wants: honest, physical players who can cover ground and are prepared to give their all for the team.

Steve Bruce delivers Fabian Schar fitness update

“There’s a few bumps and bruises but you would expect that. He hasn’t played in a while. He will be OK.”

GACP Capital latest

Would-be Newcastle United owners GACP Sports have sold their stake in Bordeaux after falling out with co-investor King Street Capital Management.

The sale comes at a time when GACP Sports’s owner Joe DaGrosa has been insisting in private that their takeover bid for Newcastle United remains “live” , and he has held talks with Magpies consultant Justin Barnes recently.

Joe DaGrosa CEO of GACP Sports talks during the opening session of Day 1 of Soccerex Europe Convention at Tagus Park
Joe DaGrosa CEO of GACP Sports talks during the opening session of Day 1 of Soccerex Europe Convention at Tagus Park

DaGrosa believes the Newcastle interest is a long-term project into which considerable time and resource has been poured, although on the specifics of actually raising the resources to broker a bid there is much less clarity.

Of course the club remains officially up for sale and Ashley will listen to bids. His advisor Barnes has been speaking to GACP for months and there’s been none of the leaks that resulted in so much scepticism about previous bids.

But sources at St James’ Park simply do not believe there will be an acceptable bid anytime soon , and are planning for life under Ashley in both the short and long-term as it stands.

You can read the full story here.

NUFC to face Rochdale

Newcastle United will face Rochdale AFC in the third round of the 2019/20 Emirates FA Cup.

More than 4,100 fans packed inside the Jakemans Stadium hoping to see Boston United cause an upset in Monday’s second round replay but left broken-hearted after a disciplined performance from the visitors.

Aaron Morley of Rochdale celebrates his goal during the FA Cup Second Round Replay match between Boston United and Rochdale at York Street on December 16, 2019 in Boston, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Aaron Morley of Rochdale celebrates his goal during the FA Cup Second Round Replay match between Boston United and Rochdale at York Street on December 16, 2019 in Boston, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

Goals from Ian Henderson and Aaron Morley from the penalty spot cancelled out Dominic Knowles’ equaliser to seal a 2-1 win for the visitors, setting up a home tie against Premier League opposition for the League One outfit.

You can read the full story here.


Good morning. It’s Sean McCormick here, and I’ll be bringing you the latest United news throughout the day.

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