If I had a pound for every time Newcastle United have been linked with Bafetimbi Gomis in the last four or five years, I'd probably be able to sign him myself. Not that I'd have much use for a 28-year-old former France international in and around the house mind.

Gomis is one of those strikers forever linked with the Magpies, and having left Lyon as a free agent at the end of last season, his name has been touted around half of the Premier League by his agent, Willie McKay.

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The Northern Echo:

A couple of years ago, Newcastle would probably have bitten McKay's hand off (not literally - we're not talking about Luis Suarez here), but time moves on and Mike Ashley has shown no inclination to pay around £50,000-a-week to a 28-year-old.

McKay was greeted with a polite 'No thank you' at St James' Park, but according to the French media, his inquiries went down rather better at the Liberty Stadium and Gomis is due to talk terms with Swansea City this week. Whether that means the Swans are resigned to losing Wilfried Bony later this summer remains to be seen.

Transfer likelihood rating: 1/10

The World Cup wouldn't be the World Cup without a couple of previously unknown players stepping into the limelight - and immediately finding themselves linked with a big-money move to the bright lights of the Premier League.

After scoring in each of Ecuador's opening two games, Enner Valencia is in pole position to become this year's Stephane Giuvarc'h, although in fairness Newcastle signed Guivarc'h before he used the 1998 World Cup to prove he was incapable of hitting a barn door.

Valencia's fine showings for Ecuador have seen him touted as the next big thing, and a number of weekend reports linked him with Newcastle as well as the likes of West Ham, Aston Villa and Everton.

Previous St James' Park regimes might well have been tempted to get on the next plane to Mexico to negotiate with Valencia's club side, Pachuca, but that is not the way Ashley and co do their business nowadays.

Targets are extensively scouted by Graham Carr and his team, and they haven't been spotted anywhere near Acapulco recently. So this can be safely filed under 'Will not happen'.

Transfer likelihood rating: 2/10

Tim Krul is currently warming the Dutch bench out in Brazil, but that hasn't stopped Newcastle's number one goalkeeper being touted as Tottenham's preferred replacement if Hugo Lloris heads to Paris St Germain.

The Northern Echo: Tim Krul, pictured, kept Tottenham at bay after Loic Remy gave Newcastle the lead

Newcastle have already lost one talented goalkeeper in Fraser Forster, so it's a safe bet they won't be especially keen about waving goodbye to another in the shape of Krul.

Money talks when it comes to the Magpies, but unless Spurs come up with a fee well in excess of £12m, it's hard to see Ashley allowing them to take Krul even if a Lloris-shaped gap suddenly appears at White Hart Lane.

Transfer likelihood rating: 2/10


Marcos Alonso is a man in demand this summer, with Sunderland, West Ham and Swansea all keen to sign the full-back, who was on loan at the Stadium of Light in the second half of last season.

Gustavo Poyet spoke to Alonso and his representatives at the start of the summer, but unlike with Seb Larsson, was unable to agree a deal.

The Northern Echo: Marcos Alonso made 16 starts for Sunderland last term. Picture: Action Images

Swansea have also talked terms, but West Ham are making increasingly bullish noises about the prospect of Alonso starting next season at Upton Park.

The Hammers released former Sunderland full-back George McCartney at the end of last season, so Alonso wouldn't have to pull up too many trees to be an improvement on what Sam Allardyce previously had on his books.

Transfer likelihood rating: 4/10

As well as looking to re-sign Alonso, Sunderland would also like to have Fabio Borini back in their squad for next season.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers doesn't appear to want the Italian, preferring instead to have Rickie Lambert as his game changer from the substitutes' bench. And by 'game changer' I clearly mean 'tall centre-forward that Steven Gerrard can mishit Hollywood balls to in the final ten minutes of a game'.

That's good news for Sunderland, but the Black Cats' hopes of re-signing Borini have been dented by reports suggesting Liverpool have offered Borini to Southampton as a possible makeweight in a deal for Adam Lallana.

Southampton don't particularly want to sell Lallana, but if the England international agitates for a move to Anfield, Borini could prove an attractive proposition to the Saints' new managerial team.

Transfer likelihood rating: 4/10

Never mind transfers anyway, the big weekend news from a Sunderland perspective is that Una Foden, of popular beat combo The Saturdays, appeared at the Stadium of Light in a Sunderland top this weekend as part of the North-East Live concert.

The Northern Echo:

Foden, who is married to England rugby international Ben, posted a picture of herself on her Instagram account wearing a Sunderland top with her maiden name, Healy, on the back.

Her set at North-East Live was bursting with energy but never quite delivered on its promise. So a bit like Adam Johnson.


Aitor Karanka spent the second half of last season talking up Kenneth Omeruo's chances of making Nigeria's World Cup squad.

Now Karanka is a thoroughly decent bloke, but deep down, you suspect he was secretly hoping that the defender didn't get anywhere near Brazil.

The Northern Echo: HIGH RISE: Middlesbrough’s Kenneth Omeruo rises higher than Reading’s Adam Le Fondre

Instead, Omeruo has started Nigeria's opening two matches, performed excellently in both games, and consequently damaged Boro's chances of getting him back to the Riverside next season.

Omeruo looks ready to star in the Premier League, and if it's not with his parent club, Chelsea, you suspect it will be with another top-flight side who take him on loan.

Karanka will hope his long-standing friendship with Jose Mourinho helps pave the way for another loan deal, but with Omeruo' s name being touted in FIFA's Young Player of the Tournament standings, Boro might well have seen the last of the 20-year-old.

Transfer likelihood rating: 3/10