Newcastle Club Focus - Amalfitano makes cross channel move
Although the football season has only just drawn to a close, Newcastle have already made their first move in the transfer market. As widely expected the club have completed the signing of midfielder Romain Amalfitano.
The 22-year-old is yet another player who was born in France and boosts the Magpies ever increasing Gallic contingent. Amalfitano will join on a free transfer once his contract with Reims expires at the end of June. Although it is not expected that the Frenchman will be a regular starter he will provide cover in a number of different positions across midfield. With the club now fighting on two fronts it is important that Alan Pardew increases the depth in his squad.
There has already been plenty of speculation about potential comings and goings. The future of full-back Danny Simpson is very much up in the air as he has yet to agree to a new contract. According to a number of media reports Newcastle have offered the former Manchester United player a £25,000 a week contract but Simpson is thought to want parity with other first team regulars. If Simpson was to depart there would be no shortage of interest from other Premier League clubs with the Northern Echo reporting Fulham’s interest in the player. The club are also keen to improve their options at full-back as Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy and PSV’s Erik Pieters have both been strongly linked in the past few months.
There are likely to be several departures with Peter Lovenkrands and a host of reserve team players all out of contract this summer. The future of goalkeeper Fraser Forster could also be finally resolved after spending the past two seasons on loan at Celtic. The most likely destination for the shot stopper is a permanent move north of the border with BBC Sport reporting a deal could be imminent.
Manager Alan Pardew is keen to dampen expectations on Tyneside on the back of the club’s strongest showing for a number of seasons. While hopes are high that the top six or higher will become the norm it will not be easy to match this season’s performance. Pardew told the London Evening Standard: "I'm hoping that I will educate our fans for next season. If they think we can finish fifth with a European campaign and the finances we've got, it's impossible. I honestly believe that you need to be a bit more open with the fans. The problem some managers have is they're not open enough.”
Although Pardew has ended the season as a double award winner, he has so far been out of the frame for the various vacancies available at other Premier League clubs. That is perhaps not surprising given the length of his contract with the Magpies. He is already making plans for the new season with the club likely to travel to South Africa for a pre-season tour.