Newcastle receive big boost in bid to land first summer signing
Rumours bubbled up over the weekend regarding an imminent Newcastle switch for PSV’s Dutch Footballer of the Year Georginio Wijnaldum, and the latest reports suggest a deal is as good as done for the 24-year-old Holland international.
According to the Telegraph, Wijnaldum was left out of the Eredivisie champions’ squad ahead of a pre-season friendly due to the 19-cap Oranje star’s impending switch, which tallies with a number of news outlets suggesting Newcastle are in advanced talks over his £15m signature.
After bursting to prominence with 14 Eredivisie goals for Feyenoord in 2010/11, Wijnaldum has repeated that tally twice in four seasons since his €5m move to the Philips Stadion.
He appeared in all seven of his country’s matches en route to third place at last summer’s World Cup, beginning the tournament as a substitute but displacing former Swansea man Jonathan de Guzman in Louis van Gaal’s starting line up three fixtures in.
Wijnaldum made it 3-0 to Holland in their third-place playoff victory over hosts Brazil, and saved the Oranje’s Euro 2016 qualifying blushes in former boss Guus Hiddink’s final match in charge by bagging a 67th-minute opener away to Latvia, having only just got on the pitch.
Considering former PSV teammate and fellow Holland regular Memphis Depay cost Manchester United £31m, less than half for Wijnaldum certainly sounds like a bargain, and McClaren will be desperate to get over the line with a positive bit of business as Geordies boss.
Newcastle need goals after bagging just 40 in the Premier League last term, a couple less than basement boys QPR, but their seemingly haphazard method of targeting players leaves a lot to be desired.
Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost looks to have been left alone after early interest, but moves for Hoops number nine Charlie Austin and Bordeaux’s Diego Rolan are still thought to be in the pipeline.
Reports over the weekend suggested the wealth of interest in Austin, with Chelsea, Spurs, Leicester, Crystal Palace and West Ham all keen on the Berkshire native, has forced Newcastle to readjust their sights.
Uruguay international Rolan is the subject of an alleged £12m bid from the north-east strugglers, although Bordeaux are said to want closer to £15m.
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