Eibar’s sporting director, Fran Garagarza, spoke to Spanish outlet AS after an impressive transfer window for his side.
Los Armeros’s finances, like many other clubs, were hit hard this summer. Eibar had to be at their best during transfer negotiations, and Garagarza has bragged about how he managed to get a deal over the line despite Newcastle United’s best efforts to drive the price up.
Eibar were in negotiations with the Magpies for days to sign Yoshinori Muto. Newcastle, at the start, were adamant about their demands, but Garagarza standing firm forced them to agree to the Spaniards’ initial offer.
Garagarza said: “Newcastle told us, either you reach some figures or Muto does not come out. We told them that it was impossible. A week later the Japanese forward arrived on loan to Eibar in the figures that we initially told them.
“We’re satisfied. We have received many ‘no’, but then they have been ‘yes’. We have had that maturity, patience and know-how to be with the open transfer market and the team competing for 5 league games, and with bad initial results.”
Eibar may have got a good deal for Muto, but Newcastle should not be too upset. The Magpies had to move some of their players on to accommodate their new signings, and the Japan international was arguably top of that list.
Newcastle signed Muto from Bundesliga side Mainz for £9.5 million in the summer of 2018 (BBC). He was brought in to solve their goal-scoring woes but the striker struggled, much like many Magpies number nines of recent years.
The 28-year-old has played just 28 times for Newcastle in all competitions. He only has two goals to show for it, and the arrival of Callum Wilson meant that there was no place for him in Steve Bruce’s squad.
Newcastle might not have got what they wanted for Muto, but the deal had to be done. He still has two years left on his contract, which means the Magpies will have to try their luck in potential transfer negotiations next summer as well.