North-East football gossip (Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough): Monday, August 4

North-East football gossip (Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough): Monday, August 4

North-East football gossip (Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough): Monday, August 4

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

NEWCASTLE

As predicted in Saturday's Northern Echo, Newcastle officially confirmed the loan signing of Argentinian striker Facundo Ferrerya over the weekend,

Ferrerya arrives on a season-long loan from Shakthar Donetsk, with a fee of around £6m having been agreed in case the Magpies want to make the move a permanent one next summer.

The Northern Echo:

There's been no hanging about, as Ferrerya made his first Newcastle appearance in yesterday's 3-1 friendly over Schalke and looked lively enough as he linked up with Remy Cabella in attack.

Having effectively refused to return to Donetsk in the wake of the ongoing instability in eastern Ukraine, Ferrerya sparked a mad scramble for his services, and Newcastle's recruitment team will be satisfied at the way they leapfrogged clubs from right across the continent to secure the South American striker.

Transfer likelihood rating: 10/10

The big question in the wake of Ferrerya's arrival is whether that is that in terms of Newcastle's striker business this summer.

Ferrerya joins Emmanuel Riviere and Ayoze Perez on the list of incomings, with both Siem de Jong and Remy Cabella able to play in a prominent attacking position if required.

Does that mean the end of Newcastle's pursuit of Loic Remy, who has joined up with QPR for pre-season training, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who now looks like remaining at Borussia Dortmund?

The Northern Echo: Remy: No action

It certainly takes the heat off Mike Ashley, and now there is an option of sitting tight to see whether any of Newcastle's long-term targets become available at a cheaper rate in January, there's every likelihood of the sportswear magnate closing his cheque book and sticking it away in a drawer marked "For emergencies only".

Transfer likelihood rating: 3/10

It'll be interesting to see whether the pre-season programme has done anything to change the position of Gabriel Obertan.

The French winger had looked certain to be on his way out of St James' Park after he pratically became a missing person last season, but he has played well throughout pre-season and caught the eye again yesterday's win over Schalke.

The Northern Echo:

With no one showing a willingness to take Obertan on his full wages, might Alan Pardew be prepared to give him one final chance on Tyneside?

Transfer likelihood rating: 5/10

SUNDERLAND

Sunderland fans will have awoken yesterday morning to see headlines linking their striker, Connor Wickham, with a possible move to Newcastle United.

Jack Colback has proved it is possible to swap red-and-white for black-and-white and be accepted, and Wickham's Sunderland future will remain uncertain for as long as he refuses to commit to a new deal.

The Northern Echo: Connor Wickham has been recalled by Sunderland

With just one year of his current contract remaining, Gus Poyet has said he would be minded to sell Wickham this summer if he did not put pen to paper.

However, the prospects of him turning up on Tyneside remain slight, despite Newcastle's fondness for a player coming to the end of his contract at his current club.

Transfer likelihood rating: 4/10

What about incomings at the Stadium of Light? Well it's a saga that's run and run all summer, but Gus Poyet has hinted he expects to receive a firm decision about Fabio Borini's future in the next 48 hours.

Sunderland have, of course, agreed a fee with Liverpool for the striker, but Borini has so far displayed precious little desire to return to Wearside following last season's loan spell.

The Northern Echo: Fabio Borini's second-half strike won it for Sunderland

Nevertheless, our man in Portugal, Paul Fraser, reports that Poyet was adopting a much more upbeat tone when he was speaking about Borini in the last couple of days, and the prospect of a positive resolution to the Borini bartering appear better now than at any stage of the last couple of weeks.

Transfer likelihood rating: 6/10

Jordon Mutch is another long-standing target, but Sunderland have been behind QPR in the race for the Cardiff man for quite a while now, and weekend reports suggested Harry Redknapp was confident of landing the winger this week.

The Northern Echo: OPTION: Gus Poyet is considering a move for Cardiff midfielder Jordon Mutch with Jack Colback edging closer to Wearside exit

No doubt that confidence was expressed through the wound-down window of a Range Rover, but Loftus Park has looked Mutch's likeliest destination for a while now, and it would be a surprise if he ended up at the Stadium of Light instead.

Transfer likelihood rating: 3/10

MIDDLESBROUGH

Boro are still on the look-out for a new right-back, with the links with Aston Villa's Matthew Lowton having strengthened over the weekend.

The Northern Echo: Matthew Lowton scored a wonder goal for Aston Villa

Since turning down the opportunity to re-sign Jozsef Varga, Aitor Karanka has seen his attempts to sign a succession of right-backs thwarted.

Lowton is the latest target, but with the Championship season due to start on Saturday, Boro officials will push their counterparts at Villa Park for a response to their inquiries in the next couple of days.

Transfer likelihood rating: 5/10

Adam Clayton's name has been on Boro's radar all summer, and the club have made a number of unsuccessful approaches for the Huddersfield midfielder.

They haven't been the only club interested though, and it increasingly looks as though Clayton could be on his way to Brighton in the next few days.

The Northern Echo: Adam Clayton in action against Brighton

That would be a blow to Boro, who are still looking to add some creativity to their midfield ranks, although Karanka could yet get on the phone to his old pal Jose Mourinho and add George Saville to Boro's ever-expanding list of Chelsea loanees.

Transfer likelihood rating: 5/10

Karanka has also been attempting to keep his squad together over the last few days, rebuffing a succession of Nottingham Forest inquiries into the potential availability of Albert Adomah.

The Northern Echo: Middlesbrough's Albert Adomah celebrates scoring his sides second equalising goal (8617911)

The Spaniard is adamant he does not want to lose the winger, and while that position could change if a Premier League club was to come in, there is very little likelihood of Adomah leaving the Riverside to join another club in the Champioonship.

Transfer likelihood rating: 2/10  

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