Well the headline might be a bit ambitious but not impossible with the news of a imminent takeover at St James’s Park by Billionaire Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who recently had an offer to take control of Manchester United turned down.
A deal of just under £300million has been agreed of which 5% of a deposit was placed down. The deal will be a cash deal and fully paid in one payment. Although this is below the original asking price from Mike Ashley of £350million, the current Covid19 crisis has certainly been a factor for re-evaluation. Ashley bought the club in 2007 for £135million.
The Prince whose personal worth is £7.1Billion but his family said to be worth a cool £1.3Trillion will be the major shareholder of the club with 80%. PCP Capital Partners Amanda Staveley will hold a 10% share, she is expected to play a key role in the running of the club. And finally the last 10% will be owned by David and Simon Reuben who have a net worth of £18Billion.
If the Premier League ratify the deal then the Toon Army are in dreamland. And after the initial euphoria of the footballing equivalent of a lottery win, there will be a few questions on fan’s lips….
Does Steve Bruce stay on as manager?
All things considered Steve Bruce has done a good job at Newcastle. Advised by friends not to take the job after the club let their two best strikers go, Mike Ashley notoriously tight with funds and also having to follow in Rafa Benitez footsteps they felt it was a poision chalice. Bruce dug in deep and after rocky periods he found his feet in his dream job and currently leaves Newcastle in a comfortable 13th position with little to work with. Fair play Steve!
But with Prince Mohammed bin Salman looking to challenge Sheikh Mansour for titles he will look for immediate impact and belief that the project is starting on the front foot. Which will mean bringing in his own Head Coach/Manager. Big contracts will bring in good players but Pep Guardiola attracts big names to Manchester City. Newcastle will need to bring in someone who can seal the deal on some star talents and seducing them up north, and that has always been a harder job for northern clubs than clubs further south. With respect to Steve Bruce I dont think he will have that pulling power and while he may stay in the job until things settle it won’t be long before Steve will lose his job.
Who will the new Head Coach/Manager?
The Toon Army loved Rafa Benitez. To them he could do know wrong. Another that done a great job under the restraints of Mike Ashley and the fans had a feeling that if he got the right backing that he was the one who could take them far. He is currently the bookies favourite.
Mauricio Pochettino was a breath of fresh air when he arrived at Tottenham Hotspur. He brought a brand of football that was exciting, hard working but more importantly productive. And he did all of this with Daniel Levy keeping a tight pocket.
Since Max Allegri was sacked from Juventus he has been getting english lessons with one eye on the Premier League. Winning six Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia he knows how to win trophies.
Three quality managers that would fit the profile the new owners would look for. Both Max Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino are free agents which makes them even more appealing. But money isnt a problem and if Rafa Benitez was the clubs man they would buy his contract without blinking an eye.
Rafa and Allegri both have a more defensive view on football while Pochettino coaches his team to play more on the front foot. But again both Rafa (7) and Allegri (10) have won multiple major trophies while Pochettino has yet to lift his first.
There are plenty of other managerial possibilities who could take over at the Toon but these three look the favourites. Who is most likely? I’m not sure they will go back for Benitez and I think Pochettino’s lack of trophies might just lose it for him. So Max Allegri could be the next Newcastle United Boss.
What new players could come in during the next transfer window?
This will be the fun part for Newcastle United supporters. Little Football Manager discussions going on in every household around Tyneside. So like the greatest managerial game in history we are going to start with free transfers. Just because you have plenty of money to spend doesn’t mean you have to be stupid with it. But the free transfer still needs to be the type of player that will bring you the success they you are planning for.
Ederson Cavani is a fit and still lethal striker who just turned 33 and has a few years left in him. And there’s nothing that the Toon Army love more that a top centre forward.
Unless Napoli tie Dries Mertens down to another contract Newcastle should be all over him whether a new boss is in place or not. He will fit in any top team in Europe.
Frank Lampard has let Willian know with no uncertainty that his services are not needed next year even though the Brazilian was keen to stay at Stamford Bridge. It’s a strange decision with Willian arguably being their most highly performing player this season.
Jan Vertonghen is leaving Tottenham despite the club and Mourinho wanting the player to stay. Vertonghen would certainly give an instant grit and organisation to the Newcastle defence
As you can see the free transfers are all edging towards to the latter end of their career. But a statement of intent will be the level of player they bring in. To set up a solid base there needs to be experience and gaining a couple of these four players would help the team hit the ground running. Now after those smart moves you need to show the world your spending power.
No-one yet is pouncing on Jack Grealish and he would be the perfect first signing to bring in. Grealish himself may look at Newcastle in a different light now and be excited by the project. And the loyal Newcastle fans love a player who can get their bums off seats with his slalom like dribbling skills.
All teams need a solid goalkeeper and while Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a couple of issues at Chelsea and is not wanted by Frank Lampard it does not take away from the qualities he possesses. He is a top class keeper who is looking for a home.
If Allegri does arrive on Tyneside then he may dip into the Italian market and 19 year old Sandro Tonali of Brescia is an excellent young talent and attainable. He has already recieved the seal of approval from Andrea Pirlo calling him “the best midfielder in Italy”.
Will Newcastle win the Champions League by 2025?
Well the headline is of course a bit of tongue in cheek. It’s certainly not impossible and the potential for Newcastle to be competing in the Champions League each year has been given a massive boost with this deal. But it took Chelsea 9 years from when Roman Abramovich took over to win Europe’s biggest prize. While Sheikh Mansour has been owner of Manchester City since 2008 and has yet to find the formula to reach the holy grail.
All in all Newcastle United supporters are a bit like the Trotter brothers. Struggling all their footballing lives and one day they have won the jackpot! Cash to splash, dreams to be dreamt and hopefully brought to life, lovely jubbly! Let’s hope it doesn’t have an ending like Del Boy and Rodney’s.