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Newcastle United takeover news RECAP: Former Magpie reportedly in talks with Spanish side

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

Newcastle have begun preparations for their trip to Crystal Palace as they look to bounce back from a troubling defeat to Arsenal.

The Magpies were well beaten by the Gunners after a second half collapse at the Emirates. United had started well but in the second half they collapsed as the Gunners ran in four unanswered goals with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette all scoring. Now they must respond.

Meanwhile there continues to be speculation over a possible takeover as we await fresh developments on the Amanda Staveley-backed consortium looking to broker a deal for United.

Signing off

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

Palace striker linked

Magpies scouts are reportedly keeping an eye on Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth, who is impressing on a season-long loan deal at Trabzonspor.

Turkish outlet Fotospor claim United - along with Brighton and Monaco - are keeping tabs on the 24-year-old, who has netted 22 goals so far this campaign.

Alexander Sorloth of Crystal Palace looks on prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on February 4, 2018 in London, England
Alexander Sorloth of Crystal Palace looks on prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on February 4, 2018 in London, England (Image: Getty Images)

Evening update

Missed any of today’s headlines? Fear not - here’s your evening update.

Featuring Joelinton, Simon Jordan, Ciaran Clark and more.

Newcastle United player Joelinton in action against Arsenal at the Emirates
Newcastle United player Joelinton in action against Arsenal at the Emirates

Clark will be a 'big miss'

Ciaran Clark was forced off with injury in the humbling defeat at Arsenal and will be a “big miss” to Newcastle United.

That’s the view of pundit and former Aston Villa team-mate Darren Bent, who admits he fears the worst after seeing the Republic of Ireland international leave the Emirates Stadium on crutches.

Clark has established himself as a first-team regular under Steve Bruce having struggled for minutes under Rafa Benitez last season.

Newcastle United's Irish defender Ciaran Clark (C) is helped from the pitch after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 16, 2020. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United's Irish defender Ciaran Clark (C) is helped from the pitch after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 16, 2020. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The defender has scored twice and been an almost constant pick alongside Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles at the back.

However, the 30-year-old was forced off in the 83rd minute of the 4-0 defeat after an ugly collision with Bukayo Saka.

You can read the ful story here.

Joelinton a 'fish out of water'

Here’s a snippet of Mick Quinn’s latest column - focusing on Joelinton’s struggles and looking like a “fish out of water”.

***

I think the stick for Joelinton is fair – he cost £40million. If you’re not scoring goals, you are going to come in for some criticism.

I don’t know if he’s being coached, if there’s a striker coach there of if someone’s pulled him to one side and is talking him through the game, and telling him what he’s not doing or should be doing. I don’t know what happens there.

Joelinton of Newcastle United is tackled by Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium
Joelinton of Newcastle United is tackled by Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium (Image: Getty Images)

To me, he’s got all the physicality. He’s big, he’s strong, but he just looks a fish out of water at this moment in time.

Three goals is not good enough for £40m. I appreciate it does take time in the Premier League, but when you’re buying strikers for that much money, you want them to hit the ground running.

Ki in talks in Spain

Former Newcastle United midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng is reportedly in talks with Spanish second division side SD Huesca.

South Korean title YTN reports the 31-year-old had previously been in talks over a possible return at FC Seoul.

Bruce is not a puppet

Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has praised Steve Bruce for the job he’s done at Newcastle United - and believes the Magpies’ head coach has put to bed accusations he’s a puppet of Mike Ashley’s.

Speaking on talkSPORT alongside Bruce’s son, Alex, Jordan spoke positively about Bruce, and said he feels Bruce had replaced Rafa Benitez in the St James’ Park dug-out ‘on merit’.

Newcastle United Head Coach Steve Bruce arrives for the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium
Newcastle United Head Coach Steve Bruce arrives for the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium (Image: Newcastle United via Getty Images)

He praised his leadership qualities, while also taking a dig at the affection that Newcastle fans still have for former Toon boss Benitez - claiming that the Spaniard, in the eyes of the supporters, could ‘walk on water’.

Alex Bruce also spoke about his father’s time at Newcastle so far - revealing that he’s ‘enjoying’ his time in charge of the club.

You can read the full transcript here.

How Viana impressed NUFC scouts

It is a rare occasion when Hugo Viana is not online on Whatsapp. The former Newcastle United midfielder may not be playing anymore but he is now operating in a breathless world as Sporting Lisbon’s sporting director, constantly messaging and exchanging voice notes with a host of agents and club officials in a number of different languages.

Last month was a particularly significant one for the Portuguese giants, who sold their captain, Bruno Fernandes, to Manchester United. The midfielder completed a £47m move to Old Trafford but the fee could yet rise to £67.7m because of various add-ons. That is a record sale for Sporting.

The transfer was far from straightforward - Manchester United were prepared to walk away with just 12 days left of the window unless Sporting lowered their demands - but it eventually went through on January 30.

Nearly 18 years after he completed his own move to the Premier League, Viana took up a central role in negotiations at Manchester United’s offices in London alongside Sporting president Frederico Varandas.

Former Newcastle United midfielder Hugo Viana (L) with Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas (R) before the start of the Liga NOS match between Sporting CP and SL Benfica at Estadio Jose Alvalade on February 3, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Former Newcastle United midfielder Hugo Viana (L) with Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas (R) before the start of the Liga NOS match between Sporting CP and SL Benfica at Estadio Jose Alvalade on February 3, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.

You just wonder whether a few memories came flooding back for the 37-year-old when he boarded a flight to the capital. Viana, too, was a talented Portuguese midfielder destined for a bright future after winning the young European player of the year award following an impressive first season in Sporting’s first team in 2002.

Viana was Jorge Mendes’ first major deal in England and it was the super agent and his nephew, Luis Correia, who represented the playmaker in talks with Sir Bobby Robson and Freddy Shepherd that summer.

After making Viana the most expensive teenager in British football, at a cost of £8.5m, Shepherd proclaimed that ‘the general consensus of opinion is that he’s the best young player in the world at the moment’.

Newcastle had beaten both Liverpool and Celta Vigo to Viana’s signature as the club maintained their policy of targeting players under the age of 23 following the previous signings of Craig Bellamy, Jermaine Jenas and Titus Bramble. So what exactly attracted the Magpies to Viana?

Alex Bruce on his father taking the NUFC job

Alex Bruce has been speaking on talkSPORT: “I was delighted [when he got the job].

“Everyone knows he’s a NUFC fan, a Newcastle lad, and he’s fulfilling his dream. He’s enjoying it.

“ He has good and bad times - obviously, it depends on results. He’s not very happy after the result on Sunday (vs Arsenal) but he’s got two big games coming up - Palace on Saturday, fingers crossed he can get a result.”

What opposition managers say on Joelinton...

Steve Bruce was surprised when a journalist revealed that just two of Joelinton’s touches against Arsenal were in the opposition box. “In the opposition box? Really? Seems a strange stat,” he said in his post-match press conference following the 4-0 defeat.

As he did earlier this season, the Newcastle United head coach has been keen to point out that Joelinton had little experience of playing as a lone striker before his move to St James’ Park and feels for all the unselfish work the Brazilian does, he needs to be a bit more greedy.

Staff have seen improvements in Joelinton’s hold-up play - you only have to look at the number of aerial challenges he won against Chelsea- and how the No 9 has been a bit cuter when it comes to winning free-kicks and relieving pressure.

Bruce has been struck by heart the 23-year-old has shown - how he played on ‘lame’ at Wolves last month, for example - and is convinced it will work out for him on Tyneside.

But while Bruce hopes the signings of Valentino Lazaro, Danny Rose and Nabil Bentaleb will help improve the service up to the club’s record signing, Joelinton simply has to be in the box more to make the most of those crosses, as he did for his goal against Rochdale last month.

Steve Harper was keen to encourage and praise the Brazilian at the Emirates, but the first-team coach also repeatedly urged Joelinton to get into the box.

No matter how much unselfish work Joelinton does, at £40m and as Newcastle’s No 9, he is going to be judged on scoring goals. To date, the striker has scored just once in the Premier League, putting the finishing touches to a well-worked team move against Spurs in August

And yet, opposition managers appear to have been impressed - click here to read their thoughts.

Former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton feels the Magpies have an ‘opportunity’ in the coming weeks to kick on this season.

The 61-year-old, who managed Newcastle to the Championship title in 2010, was working as a pundit on Sky Sports’ coverage of the Magpies’ defeat to Arsenal.

Steve Bruce’s side shipped four goals in a disappointing second-half collapse to lose 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium but United remain seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Newcastle have accrued 31 points from 26 matches so far and now have a seven match run in the Premier League without facing any of the traditional top six sides.

The Magpies also have an FA Cup fifth-round trip to West Brom during that time and Hughton feels as if the next eight games represent a huge ‘opportunity’ for his former club to transform their season.

“I can guarantee it won’t be a nice relaxing end to the season,” the former Brighton, Norwich and Birmingham boss said.

“But certainly if I look at the points they are on at this moment, and without any of the top six in the coming games, there is an opportunity for them.

“What they will do after today is dust themselves down - it is their first defeat in eight and they have had a poor second half - and they will realise what this defeat means.

“They will get ready for the next game knowing this was always going to be a tough season.”

(Image: PA)

National press verdict on Newcastle United's unravelling at Arsenal

Newcastle United fell to a 4-0 defeat at the Emirates on Sunday as ‘Arteta-ball’ came into full effect.

Following a promising first half, Arsenal put Newcastle to the sword with a second-half masterclass, with the 4-0 hammering raising questions over United’s defence, goalscoring abilities and their game management.

The flair displayed by Allan Saint-Maximin in the first half was marred by Joelinton’s continued goal drought.

Here’s how the national Press reported the defeat.

Ian Ladyman - The Daily Mail

Describing Arsenal’s victory as ‘comfortable enough’, the Daily Mail focused on Arsenal’s second-half revival as Newcastle had little to offer in attack or defence.

Ladyman suggested that Pepe’s goal, Arsenal’s second, ‘killed Newcastle’ as Saka poked the ball through Valentino Lazaro’s legs and swiftly delivered a low cross for the Ivorian international to slot in.

Ladyman spotlights Newcastle’s lack of attacking power as a cause for concern as ‘Joelinton missed a big chance - we have seen this before’, will Newcastle regret not recruiting a proven goalscorer?

You can read the rest of the round-up here.

A word from Steve Bruce...

Speaking after the Arsenal game - Steve Bruce said: “We’ve given ourselves a decent platform, and I was really pleased with the way we played in the first half in particular.

“We’ve got to maintain those standards.

“I still think we’ve got a couple coming back who will help us, and the ones that need games will be better for the game today [on Sunday].”

Mikel Arteta the Arsenal Head Coach shakes hands with Steve Bruce the Newcastle Manager before the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020
Mikel Arteta the Arsenal Head Coach shakes hands with Steve Bruce the Newcastle Manager before the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020

The future of Matty Longstaff...

Former NUFC midfielder Lee Clark, someone who knows all about breaking into the XI as a teenager, has urged the club to tie down Matty Longstaff to a new deal.

Speaking to Tribal Football, he said: “It’s absolutely crucial the club tie down Matty Longstaff to a new contract.”

“The club have been crying out for local lads who have come through from the academy, and there is now a manager in place who is prepared to play the youngsters, even above the senior players, and not wait for his hand to be forced through injuries or suspensions.

“The academy is appreciative of that and the young players can see that there will be opportunities given. And the two boys, Sean as well, have come in and are two completely different types of players, but have done terrifically well in their own right.

“And I think it is massive for the club to keep them on board, get them settled and make them part of the future, because good young players are hard to come by, and especially local players.”

Lee Clark
Lee Clark (Image: Getty Images)

Joelinton is now worth £13million less than Newcastle paid for him in the summer, according to transfer market analysts.

The figures – which are on respected website Transfermarkt – now pitch the Brazilian’s value at £27million after they re-valued him in December following his summer move from Hoffenheim. Transfermarkt also felt Newcastle overpaid in the summer, valuing him at £31million. United paid £40million.

Those numbers cut right to the heart of the Joelinton issue at St James’ Park, where the hierarchy’s clear enthusiasm to bring in the Brazilian in close season jar with his performances on the pitch.

If they signed him as a ready-made number nine – and it’s understood many of the early scouting reports compiled by United and seen by former boss Rafa Benitez pointed out that he wasn’t used there in Bundesliga – his performances have been so ill-suited to that position that it should raise serious questions about the biggest transfer in the club’s history.

Full story here.

Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) reacts as his goal is ruled offside during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and Oxford United
Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) reacts as his goal is ruled offside during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and Oxford United (Image: Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Jamie Carragher hits out at one-time NUFC target

Mitchy Batshuayi just can’t seem to cut it in the Premier League - but Chelsea are still giving him the chance.

He started last night against Manchester United but Jamie Carragher was not impressed.

Interestingly, he praised Oliver Giroud - someone who Steve Bruce admitted he tried to sign on loan last month.

“The difference Giroud made when he came on was night and day. Batshuayi is a poor player, Giroud has shown in the past he’s a good player.”

Jamie Carragher working for Sky Sports before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool FC
Jamie Carragher working for Sky Sports before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool FC

Roy Keane on Arsenal's celebrations...

Arsenal enjoyed Sunday, didn’t they? And why not? Beating a team 4-0 is worth celebrating...

But Roy Keane things they went overboard with the celebrations.

‘That was way over the top,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I thought they were 10 points clear at the top of the league the way they were celebrating at the end.

‘Forget Arsenal. You’ve beaten Newcastle 4-0. Ridiculous.’

Roy Keane
Roy Keane (Image: ITV)

The debate: Should NUFC sign Jetro Willems?

NUFC fan David Burn has emailed in to say: “If his operation is successful of course we should sign him.

“He is a talented player who has fitted well into the team. And he clearly wants to play for us.

“At £12 million, or close to this figure, it would be a no- brainer.”

Jetro Willems of Newcastle United gives the thumbs up after receiving the man of the match award against Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019
Jetro Willems of Newcastle United gives the thumbs up after receiving the man of the match award against Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019

Mick McCarthy sends wishes to Ciaran Clark

NUFC are waiting to see how serious Ciaran Clark’s injury is - the defender left the Emirates on crutches after being subbed in the 86th minute with an injury.

With the Republic of Ireland facing Slovakia next month - Mick McCarthy has revealed he’s sent his wishes to Clark.

“I sent Ciaran [Clark] a text on Monday wishing him well and assuring him that we will give him all the time he needs to get fit for Slovakia.

“Like with James [McClean], we have to wait for Ciaran’s injury to settle down before we know the full prognosis.

“The game in Bratislava is still five weeks away on Thursday and I will give both players as long as I can.”

Ciaran Clark of Newcastle United goes off injured during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United
Ciaran Clark of Newcastle United goes off injured during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United

Boubakary Soumare out of favour...

Boubakary Soumare, the midfielder understood to have been Newcastle United’s top January target, has fallen from favour at Lille following ‘tension’ which has emerged between the player and club.

The 20-year-old, who was thought to be the player Steve Bruce referred to in a press conference the day after the winter transfer window closed, has not featured recently for the French club.

Bruce told reporters that United had a bid - thought to be £35m- accepted for the midfielder, and even went as far as organising a plane to travel and meet with him, but Soumare rejected the move.

Soumare was left-out of Lille’s last two fixtures having been on the bench for the previous two.

Lille manager Christope Galtier told L’Equipe: “There is a situation at the club that I do not comment on.

“In seasons, there can be tension between a player and his club. We’ll settle this internally and find a solution.

“Under these conditions, I therefore decided to work on two other options this week [Cheikh Niasse and Jean Onana].

It is understood that Newcastle are unlikely to revisit the option of Soumare in the summer.”

Today's debate: Would you sign Jetro Willems permanently?

So here’s today’s burning question - would you sign Jetro Willems permanently?

Send your thoughts in to [email protected] or at @chronicleNUFC on Twitter.

We’ll use the best of them in today’s blog.

On this day in 1933: Sir Bobby Robson was born

Sir Bobby was successful with Ipswich, England, across Europe, and returned #NUFC back to a title-challenging side, but it was his foundation which he was most proud of.

Hear all about the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation through the words of the people he entrusted to build it such as Alan Shearer, George Caulkin and Professor Ruth Plummer.

Jetro Willems on returning to NUFC

Speaking to Chronicle Live, Jetro Willems admitted he’d love to return to NUFC next season.

“Of course I would love to speak to Newcastle,” said Willems.

“I don’t want this to be my final time at the club. Come back next year? Why not?”

You can read the full story here.

Revealed: NUFC striker's valuation has dropped

A read on NUFC’s problems with Joelinton.

Joelinton is now worth £13million less than Newcastle paid for him in the summer, according to transfer market analysts.

The figures – which are on respected website Transfermarkt – now pitch the Brazilian’s value at £27million after they re-valued him in December following his summer move from Hoffenheim. Transfermarkt also felt Newcastle overpaid in the summer, valuing him at £31million. United paid £40million.

Those numbers cut right to the heart of the Joelinton issue at St James’ Park, where the hierarchy’s clear enthusiasm to bring in the Brazilian in close season jar with his performances on the pitch.

Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) reacts as his goal is ruled offside during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and Oxford United
Joelinton of Newcastle United (9) reacts as his goal is ruled offside during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and Oxford United (Image: Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Morning all

Morning all. We’re just a few days away from a crunch clash at Crystal Palace and NUFC’s players are back in training....