Is Saido Berahino the best option for Newcastle United?

The Magpies are reportedly interested in signing the striker for a club record £18 million, but is he the right choice?

Saido Berahino has not started a game for West Bromwich Albion since October with the relationship between himself and the club near untenable, stemming from a failed summer transfer to Tottenham Hotspur.

West Brom are seemingly resigned to losing the England under-21 and with 18 months left on his contract boss Tony Pulis is surely aware they must sell soon before his value drops further.

Newcastle counterpart Steve McClaren has made it clear he wants Berahino on Tyneside as part of his ambition to bring a British core to the squad, as reported by The Daily Mail. Owner Mike Ashley has authorised the club to break their previous transfer record should they need to. That title belongs to Michael Owen, who signed for The Toon for £16.8 million in August 2005.

There is no doubting the talent that Berahino possesses given the Burundi born forward scored 20 goals in all competitions last season, but his temperament has many questioning whether the move is right for Newcastle.

If, as alleged, Berahino was happy to cause issues in attempting to hurry through a move to Spurs last summer, there is no guarantee that he would not do it in again in the future, should a bigger club again come in for him. With such vast sums certain to be spent on his services, Newcastle would be wise to weigh up all options before taking a gamble on him.

The youngsters’ spat with chairman Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace has been ongoing since handing in a transfer request at the start of the season and his exclusion from first-team football has seen a return of only three league goals in 15 games.

After missing out on Charlie Austin, who signed for Southampton this past week, relegation battling Newcastle are desperate to sign someone who can slot in straight away and score goals in England’s top flight. But with such a lack of match fitness, it will take some time for Berahino to get back to his best.

Sitting in the bottom three, the question of whether the North-East club should gamble on him to come good with less than three months of the season left is a one only they can answer.

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