Matías Ariel Fernández:
According to Goal.com, apparently he is wanted by Newcastle United, though the player’s representative, Alejandro Santiesteban, maintains that no approach has been made.
“I’m not aware of the reported interest in Matias from Newcastle.” Santiesteban told the Portuguese media, adding:
“Nobody has got in touch with me so I think it must be a rumour. If a team is really interested in a player and has to pay a transfer fee then they have to get in touch with me and the club. That hasn’t happened.”
He’s had spells at Villareal and currently plays for Sporting Lisbon, and does seem to have an eye for a pass and occasionally goal too. He has captained the Chilean youth team and figured prominently in their full squad for both the World Cup qualifying campaign as well as the finals where they exited in the round of 16. He was also South American Player of the Year in 2006. All in all, I don’t think he’d have done as well if he couldn’t hack it. Besides, he’s just 24, so he does fit in with the clubs policy.
The lad might just turn out to be a canny acquisition, as I have watched him play and he does seem to have glimpses of talent. In the past, our track-record with Latin American players wasn’t anything to really rave about, but given our recent performances (he too was born in Argentina), I’d be willing to wager on him doing fairly well for us. Bear in mind that this is just media speculation and that a move will probably never materialise though.
In another contrasting and far less glamorous report, it appears that Chris Hughton really does love the club and us the fans above and beyond the call of duty. At a large risk to his own life, he’s apparently willing to take a trip over to the dark side. The reason: A raid upon The Stadium of Blight.
Phil Bardsley:The Daily Mail (Yes, I Know!) reports that we are after the Scotsman. Now, quite frankly, I don’t see why we would be buying another right-back. Unless we were willing to let one go. I wouldn’t know which that would be. Chris clearly rates Perch and Simpson, as he signed them both. But I, for one, like having Ryan Taylor in our squad. He’s a utility player, and those freekicks deserve to have a movie made about them (Beckham who?). All in all, a lack of improvement from Perch, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the back of him, though I am willing to give him a chance. Besides, I haven’t seen enough of Bardsley’s game to comment. Although, by Newcastle’s standards, he’s available for the right price at the end of the season. Nothing. Formerly with Manchester United and Rangers, he was brought to the wrong side of town in 2008 by none other than The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Roy Keane. He is apparently unsettled and is yet to begin negotiations on a new contract even though his current one is in its last year. Once again, at the age of 25, he fits in with our ‘buy young’ policy. Though we apparently face competition from Stoke, Blackburn, and West Brom for his signature.
Like I said earlier, this is all paper talk and will probably amount to nothing, but it’s always good to have something to talk about, eh?