This time last season, Kevin Keegan struggled to sign anyone for Newcastle United, although whether there were funds available is open to question. Twelve months down the line and it appears Mike Ashley understands that the Magpies need to spend to ensure that they remain a Premier League club next season. However, this Sunderland player was surely never going to leave the Stadium of Light for the Black Cats’ biggest rivals was he?
The Daily Telegraph reports that Newcastle have been unsuccessful in a short-lived pursuit of Kieran Richardson. The former Manchester United midfielder is one of Sunderland’s most valuable assets and, along with Kenwyne Jones, a player that the club are working hard to retain on Wearside. Ricky Sbragia reveals the Magpies were poised to swoop for one of their crown jewels.
Sbragia said “There was a cheeky inquiry but it was never anymore than that.
“To be honest, we’ve had a few cheeky enquiries over the months that never got anywhere near getting off the ground and that was one of them.
“Clubs are entitled to try it on if they want to but I’ve made it clear that I want to keep my very best players at the club.”
I guess this sort of enquiry happens all the time between football clubs, very much a case of ‘if you don’t ask then you won’t get’. It’s clear that Newcastle are trying to bring in talented midfielders in the ilk of Richardson and Johnson before the transfer window closes, or instead rely on the likes of Nicky Butt, Kevin Nolan and Damien Duff to provide the assists and goals that will get them out of trouble.