North-East transfer gossip (Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough): Tuesday, June 24 (From The Northern Echo)
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North-East transfer gossip (Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough): Tuesday, June 24
Eyes down and look in for today's instalment of Newcastle United transfer target bingo. Bafetimbi Gomis? Check. Remy Cabella? Check. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? House. It's like each of the last two or three transfer windows, just with the World Cup going on in the background to provide a bit of distraction.
Aubameyang is part of that ever-expanding group of strikers that Newcastle have scouted extensively, sniffed around at admiringly and then "failed to get over the line". And it looks like this summer is going to follow a well-trodden path.
The Magpies came close to signing Aubameyang last summer, only for him to head to Borussia Dortmund instead. He did okay in the Bundesliga, scoring 13 league goals in 32 outings (11 from the bench), but is once again being linked with a possible switch during the current transfer window.
Where to? Well almost certainly not Newcastle, despite the ongoing interest from within St James' Park.
The Italian press claim Roma have made an approach - something that has been confirmed by Aubameyang's agent Oscar Damiani - but it sounds as though the striker would prefer to remain in Dortmund next season despite the arrival of Italian Ciro Immobile.
Either way, he's unlikely to be plying his trade on Tyneside. Mind you, that won't stop his name reappearing in another batch of transfer missives in January.
Transfer likelihood rating: 2/10
With Gomis off the agenda as he heads to Swansea, the latest overseas striker to be linked with Newcastle is Metz's Diafra Sakho.
He's 24 (that's one tick in Mike Ashley's box), has entered the final year of his contract (that's another) and currently plays in France (hat-trick), but Newcastle officials have denied any interest.
Sakho scored 20 goals in Ligue 2 last season, but given that the Magpies have already signed Ayoze Perez as their striker for the future, they are in the market for a more experienced forward to replace Loic Remy.
Transfer likelihood rating: 2/10
The final name doing the rounds yesterday was Victor Moses, who is back at Chelsea after last season's loan spell at Liverpool.
Moses almost joined Newcastle in 2010, only to move to Wigan instead, and the Magpies are one of a number of Premier League clubs to have been linked with a possible move for the attacking midfielder.
If Chelsea want to sell him, there's little prospect of Newcastle shelling out the £6-7m that the Stamford Bridge club are likely to demand.
If another loan move is an option, however, the Magpies could be interested, although Ashley would be looking for a buyout option at the end of any short-term deal.
Transfer likelihood rating: 4/10
If there's been one thing missing from this summer's transfer talk, it's been a North-East club picking over the carcass of one of the teams that was relegated from the Premier League last season. Not anymore.
Sunderland are one of four clubs to have made a formal approach to Norwich City over Scottish midfielder Robert Snodgrass, who would potentially be a decent replacement for the recently-departed Jack Colback.
QPR, Hull and West Ham are also interested - a trio of clubs who are likely to be in the market for a fair few of the players being tracked by both Sunderland and Newcastle this summer. Given that Harry Redknapp, Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce are the managers of the three clubs in question, that's likely to be a market with plenty of buy one get one free offers.
Social media was buzzing with confirmation that Sunderland sporting director Lee Congerton was keen to talk about Snodgrass at a breakfast event on the morning the fixtures came out, and having entered the final year of his current contract, the midfielder would be a logical target for the Black Cats. Whether he can persuaded to move to Wearside, however, remains to be seen.
Transfer likelihood rating: 6/10
What are Argentina's leading clubs up to at the minute? Watching Lionel Messi weave his magic in the World Cup finals in nearby Brazil? Probably. But also making admiring glances in the direction of Sunderland forward Ignacio Scocco.
Like amorous lotharios on a nightclub dancefloor at 3am, Newells Old Boys, Boca Juniors and River Plate are all desperately scrambling around to try to catch Scocco's eye.
According to the South American press, its Newells who are throwing the most appealing shapes, although a quick double-check on Wikipedia confirms they're not an old boys club in Blackburn being run by Mike Newell. Shame that.
Either way, there appears little chance of Scocco adding to his collection of ineffective 20-minute substitute cameos in a Sunderland shirt again next season.
Transfer likelihood rating: 8/10
Another quiet day on the Boro transfer front, but with Aitor Karanka due back behind his desk at Rockliffe Park later this week, things should begin to gather momentum soon.
"Back behind his desk" is another classic transfer phrase that doesn't necessarily bear much resemblance to reality. Is Karanka really going to be back behind a desk? In fairness, if he's been watching Spain at this World Cup, he's probably still cowering behind the settee.
One development on the Boro front yesterday was the impending announcement of a pre-season friendly with Villarreal.
Having lost to the Spanish side in the 2004 UEFA Cup, Boro are set to host Villarreal, who have already confirmed a warm-up game against Swansea, in the run-up to the start of the Championship season.
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