Joe Kinnear is reportedly in Germany today to push through what would be his first purchase as the director of football at Newcastle United FC.
Since his controversial appointment in June 2013 he has been on a one man rampage to ruin any semblance of credibility in the Newcastle back-room staff - despite Alan Pardew continuing to do wonders on the pitch.
A quick read through his Wikipedia entry for ‘2013 return to Newcastle’ tells a tale in itself.
So Wiki may not be the best source, but it must be better than whatever Kinnear is using as he has, in a little over six months…
- Said he took over from Derek Lambezi (Derek Llambias)
- Claimed to have signed John Hartson for free when he cost £7.5 million
- Won the LMA Manager of the Year three times (he’s one it once)
- Claimed to have signed Tim Krul (signed by Graeme Souness and his staff)
- Talked about Newcastle players Yohan ‘Kebab’, Hatem Ben ‘Afri’ and Shola ‘Amamobi’
Not exactly a sterling start.
In regards to doing what director of football’s do, and signing players, so far he has been all but invisible in his role.
To be fair to him, with the investment of last January, summer recruitment was likely not high on their agenda this time around - but he is still to sign a first-team player outright.
The club brought in Loic Remy, but only on a loan deal - a deal that was already in the pipe-line before Kinnear returned to St James Park.
They also signed talented teenage Frenchman Oliver Kemen - who was identified by chief scout Graham Carr and one for the future.
The player in question is long-term Premier League target Luuk De Jong.
The Dutch international rejected a host of Premier League teams when he signed for Borussia Monchengladbach for €15 million in July 2012.
However, Kinnear is not signing a man in form.
De Jong has not scored a club goal since he netted in a 1-0 win against soon to be relegated Bundesliga rivals Greuther Furth. He has since gone 18 games without a goal for the German outfit (although did score for Holland at this summer’s European under-21 Championship).
That being said, he is very talented - and boasted a scoring record of 32 goals in 50 games during his final season with FC Twente in 2011-12.
If that De Jong turns up, Newcastle are on to a winner - if it is the one from the last six to eight months then Kinnear might be signing a stinker.
image: © @UtdForNewcastle