When a new pope is announced, white smoke emerges from the Vatican. If the same applies with Newcastle United, one can only assume that there was a blockage in the St James' Park chimney until the chimney sweep finally released things late last night.

Emmanuel Riviere was on Tyneside yesterday undergoing a medical, but it took until 11pm for Newcastle officials to finally confirm that the French striker had completed his move from Monaco to the Magpies.

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The Northern Echo:

Newcastle agreed a fee of around €8m with Monaco, and have landed themselves a 24-year-old forward with extensive experience of life in Ligue 1.

Will Riviere be a success on Tyneside? Time will tell. But having lost Loic Remy, Shola Ameobi and Luuk de Jong since the end of the season, Newcastle desperately needed an out-and-out centre-forward, and now they have one in place.

Transfer likelihood rating: 10/10

While Riviere's arrival has been confirmed, Newcastle are still waiting to officially rubber-stamp Daryl Janmaat's transfer from Feyenoord, although that situation is slightly more complicated because Mathieu Debuchy's £12m move to Arsenal is the other side of the coin.

Newcastle haven't wanted to confirm the capture of Janmaat until Arsenal are ready to confirm their own deal for Debuchy. It's just like a housing chain, with the London market once again commanding vastly inflated prices.

The Northern Echo:

Janmaat might be back in Holland, but to all intents and purposes he's already a Newcastle player, and again his transfer should be confirmed later today.

So Newcastle have effectively swapped a France international for a Holland international and about £7m. No wonder Mike Ashley felt able to turn down a bumper Sports Direct share offer yesterday.

Transfer likelihood rating: 10/10

It's not just about incoming transfers at Newcastle as players will also be leaving before the transfer window closes, with Sylvain Marveaux one of the outcasts edging gingerly towards the exit door.

The winger has effectively been training with the kids in the first two weeks of pre-season, with Alan Pardew having lost faith in him last term.

The Northern Echo: KEEN CONTEST: Fulham’s John Arne Riise, left, and Newcastle United’s Sylvain Marveaux battle for the ball

Montpellier are interested in acquiring his services, which could well lead to another stand off between Ashley and the French club's flamboyant owner Louis Nicollin.

Given Nicollin's intransigence over Remy Cabella, Newcastle are likely to quote him about £30m for Marveaux. Eventually, however, they'll probably settle for a couple of crates of Stella such is there is desire to be rid of the midfielder.

Transfer likelihood rating: 7/10


The World Cup might be a fading memory, but some of the players involved in it are still hoping to use the competition as a lure for clubs who might potentially be interested in their services.

Take Matt Besler for example. Pretty much unknown before the World Cup started, the American defender was one of the stars of his side's run to the knockout phase of the competition.

The Northern Echo:

He plays for Kansas City (a line which immediately sounds the like start of a Beatles song), but is looking for a move to Europe and went on a US radio station yesterday to claim the Fulham and Sunderland were putting in an offer for him.

The word from within the Stadium of Light is that that's nonsense, and given that Sunderland have already had their fingers burned with the purchase of one American - Jozy Altidore - it seems safe to take the club's word on this one.

Transfer likelihood rating: 2/10

While things remain relatively sluggish when it comes to potential incomings on Wearside, Alfred N'Diaye looks set to complete a move away from the Black Cats shortly.

Real Betis are closing in on a £1.5m move for the midfielder, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the Spanish side.

The Northern Echo: NEW BOY: Alfred N’Diaye, Sunderland’s new signing, has made an instant impression with an impressive display in Sunderland’s 3-2 win at Wigan on Saturday

Betis were relegated from La Liga, but that hasn't stopped them from casting envious glances in N'Diaye's direction - and Sunderland aren't about to stand in their way.

N'Diaye isn't in Gustavo Poyet's plans, in fact he isn't even in the jottings that he made on the back of his notebook before he even came up with his plans. So a deal should be finalised reasonably quickly.

Transfer likelihood rating: 8/10

On a public service front, we've been asked to point out that Saturday's friendly with Darlington at Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park is an all-ticket affair.

Turn up without a ticket and you won't be getting in, and ticket sales for Sunderland fans end at 1pm on Friday. So there, you've been told.


It's hardly the most shocking transfer news of the summer, but it looks as though Boro will face competition for the services of Kenneth Omeruo.

Omeruo spent last season on loan at the Riverside, and Aitor Karanka is hoping his relationship with Jose Mourinho will result in the defender returning for a second loan spell this season.

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

However, QPR are reportedly also interested in Omeruo, and knowing the way Harry Redknapp operates, that probably means they'll offer £25m plus £80,000-a-week.

Boro remain confident Omeruo wants to return to Teesside, and are hoping to agree a deal once the Nigerian returns from his post-World Cup break. Until a deal is signed, sealed and delivered though, they won't be taking anything for granted.

Transfer likelihood rating: 6/10

Boro must dread whenever they pick up the phone and Nottingham Forest are on the other end of the line.

Last summer, it was Grant Leadbitter, with Boro rebuffing persistent Forest interest in the midfielder and turning down a succession of bids.

Now, it's Albert Adomah, with Forest having raised the prospect of a £1.75m offer for the Ghanaian midfielder.

The Northern Echo: Storm: Middlesbrough's Albert Adomah scored at Huddersfield on his way to grabbing 12 goals

Boro insist they're not interested in selling at any price, and Karanka has previously spoken of the winger in glowing terms. With Steve Gibson wanting to invest to the Financial Fair Play maximum, Boro don't need to sell. Hence, it would be a major surprise if Adomah was to leave before the transfer window closes.

Transfer likelihood rating: 3/10

The Teessiders' desire to retain Adomah was probably enhanced yesterday when news emerged of a training ground injury that will force Emmanuel Ledesma to miss the start of the season. Having broken his metatarsal, Ledesma could miss the first five games of the new campaign.

Meanwhile, new striker Kike made his first appearance in a Boro shirt last night as Karanka's side suffered a 1-0 defeat to Lucena in their first friendly in Marbella.