Newcastle United fear they are about to miss out on Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer while there’s also disappointment at their failure to secure Arsenal’s William Saliba on loan, as reported by The Athletic.
It has been a frustrating summer at St James’ Park.
Mike Ashley has yet to spend a penny on signings and, with just six weeks of the transfer window to go, time’s running out as Steve Bruce looks to reinforce a side that, last season, performed far worse than the mid-table finish suggests on paper.
A new centre-back – preferably one of the ball-playing variety – was one of Bruce’s priorities heading into the window.
But there’s growing fear Ajer, reported to be Newcastle’s first-choice target, will be too expensive.
Will Ajer be another blow to Newcastle after missing out on Saliba?
Premier League newcomers Norwich City have already walked away from the table with new claims suggesting Brentford are now clear front-runners for a man who will cost £13.5 million despite having just one year left on his contract (Northern Echo).
While the pursuit of Ajer is still ongoing, however, the same can’t be said of Saliba.
The Athletic adds Newcastle were disappointed to learn the £27 million Frenchman would join Marseille on loan instead.
Every cloud has a silver lining, of course, and missing out on Saliba means there’s still a domestic loan slot available for fellow Arsenal youngster Joe Willock.
Agreeing a permanent deal for the England U21 international would sate some of the frustration building at St James’ Park.
Willock, who is also a £15 million target for Crystal Palace, was a revelation on Tyneside last season, ending a staggeringly successful loan spell with goals in seven successive league games.