Why signing ex-Spurs star Dimitar Berbatov would still make sense for Newcastle United

Newcastle need strikers and with the Bulgarian's affinity with the club well-documented and Bournemouth the only other interested party, it could work.

1084 minutes is a long time in football. It's over 18 hours' worth to be precise and it's also the time it took for summer signing Emmanuel Riviere to score his one and only Premier League goal for Newcastle this season.

Recruited for £6 million from Monaco, the 25-year-old endured a campaign to forget for the Toon, with a horror miss against West Ham the icing on cake for the Frenchman.

Brought to the club alongside Siem de Jong and Ayoze Perez, the lack of goals in Newcastle's squad in the absence of Papiss Cisse was exposed at various intervals throughout the season, with Riviere guilty of missing multiple chances.

De Jong's injuries are already well-documented and while Ayoze has enjoyed a solid return for a player of his age arriving from the Spanish second division, it's obvious that a proven Premier League goalscorer is required.

But where do Newcastle find someone fitting that bill? And at a price that Mike Ashley deems acceptable? Suddenly, the options look slim to say the least.

There could be one option though which, while likely to be unpopular, could provide the ideal short-term solution to Magpies' goalscoring problem.

Dimitar Berbatov.

A free agent after leaving AS Monaco in France, the Bulgarian has already demonstrated his worth to the principality club with goals both in Ligue 1 and during the team's run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

In two years with the club, he managed 18 goals, including one memorable strike against Arsenal in Europe.

He evidently has the potential to do a fine job in the Premier League too, hence the various reports claiming Bournemouth are keen on signing the ex-Manchester United man.

But why have Newcastle not made a move?

The Toon were among those to show an interest in the forward prior to his move across the Channel according to the Mirror.

Berbatov's admiration of the club has previously been showcased, with the forward photographed as a teenager holding a Newcastle shirt, having reportedly developed an admiration for talismanic striker Alan Shearer.

No one is suggesting the 34-year-old is a long-term solution, but he does bring the kind of experience the club desperately needs.

Previously top scorer in the Premier League, Berbatov's experience could be beneficial to Ayoze's continued development, while his presence in the squad would also allow De Jong to continue his slow recovery from injury.

Unlikely to start the majority of games, with Cisse the first choice striker, the only major stumbling block to any deal would be Berbatov's wages but should those be successfully negotiated then Newcastle could have the ideal solution to their current goalscoring headache.

He certainly won't need 18 hours to find the net.

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