Newcastle United’s hopes of signing Loic Remy on a permanent deal beyond the end of the season were dealt a massive blow last week.
Quoted in the Daily Mail, the French striker is claimed to have said “without being pretentious, I might be able to play for a bigger club, a top-five European club.”
With Alan Pardew’s side unlikely to overtake Everton in the league this season, Newcastle will not be able to offer the European stage that the player evidently craves.
Picking up from where he left off in Queens Park Rangers futile attempt to avoid relegation last season, Remy’s stint on Tyneside has only served to enhance his burgeoning reputation.
Free from the shackles of his rape allegation, the striker is likely to be courted in the summer by some of Europe’s finest clubs.
Pardew has recently described the striker as ‘hot property’ and already raised doubts about Newcastle’s chances of convincing him to stay beyond the end of the season. No doubt the manager will spend the rest of the season attempting to persuade his star striker of the benefits of signing permanently.
The unfortunate reality of the situation though is that from the player’s perspective, there is absolutely no incentive to sign for Newcastle on a long term basis. Where is the reason to stay?
The club’s non-existent ambition has been epitomised by transfer inactivity in the last two windows and an over commitment to financial fair play. With Premier League clubs spending millions to merely stand still, Mike Ashley’s reticence to splash the cash underlines his belief that mid-table mediocrity equates to success.
Last season, European football seemed to be portrayed as a hindrance rather than a privilege and an outcome which the club would like to avoid in the future.
For ambitious players hungry to achieve personal and team success, this vision for Newcastle United is a project that even the best salesman would struggle with.
The removal of the clueless and comically inept Joe Kinnear as Director of Football delighted the fans but will not change Ashley’s model for the club. For quality players at the club such as Remy, the overtures from elite clubs that will inevitably come will understandably prove difficult to refuse.
It’s not even as if there is the prospect of a handsome financial package being offered to try and tempt the player to remain at St James’. Money is more than capable of surpassing footballing reasons as the main motivation in a move but this is not a possibility that will be considered at Newcastle.
Ashley’s Financial Fair Play in a time of ludicrous excess is admirable but not a philosophy that will prove attractive to footballers, or indeed their agents.
The January departure of Yohan Cabaye and the farcical “attempt” to acquire Clement Grenier as a replacement will have done nothing to convince Remy of the merits of a move. As if it hadn’t been abundantly clear prior, Cabaye’s exit highlighted once again the club’s crippling lack of ambition and indicated a satisfaction with mid-table mediocrity.
Although it has always been the case for teams outside of the Premier League’s elite, it has become apparent in recent times more so than ever that St James’ Park is merely a showcase for quality players to enhance their reputations and earn more lucrative moves.
While Newcastle have profited immensely from an astute transfer policy in the European market, many of the players that they have acquired will surely see the move as a “stepping stone” for bigger and better things.
Nothing that Ashley or Pardew have done in the last few years will have convinced these players to snub any attractive offers which may come their way.
Following in Demba Ba’s footsteps, Cabaye will not be the last of the foreign legion to move on to greener pastures. Rumours over the futures of influential individuals such as Coloccini and Debuchy refuse to go away and an exodus of personnel is anticipated on Tyneside this summer.
The desire from Newcastle for Remy to make the switch permanent is great but the reasons for doing so are not. With the goals still flowing for him on Tyneside, Remy can anticipate a number of exciting offers in the upcoming window.
Don’t expect to see the talented striker amongst the very select few populating Newcastle’s arrivals lounge this summer.