Mike Ashley must sanction a summer swoop for Newcastle United to re-sign Adam Armstrong from Blackburn Rovers.
According to TEAMtalk, Toon chiefs are ready to push on with plans to lure Armstrong back to St. James’ Park at the end of the season, regardless of what division they are in.
Armstrong left Tyneside for Blackburn in 2018 for £2m in a deal sanctioned by Rafa Benitez but has excelled at Ewood Park to now be worth a reported £25m after scoring 19 goals in 33 Championship appearances this term.
Yet Newcastle could land Armstrong in the summer for far less, as the Magpies included a 40% sell-on clause in their agreement with Rovers. As such, the 24-year-old is expected to be available to Ashley for around £16m.
The Toon hierarchy seemingly believe that Armstrong represents good value for that sort of money, as they are said to be ready to present the forward with a path back to where his career began.
Armstrong would be interested in a return to his former academy side, per Chronicle Live, but he has endless respect for Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray for offering him the chance to reset a career stagnating under Benitez.
Newcastle are not alone in tracking the free-scoring second-tier star, also, as David Moyes is said to have marked Armstrong as West Ham United’s top striker target while Southampton, Everton and Fulham have previously been linked.
Newcastle holding a 40% sell-on clause for any fee Blackburn pick up for Armstrong will undoubtedly prove beneficial should United look to bring the West Denton-born frontman back to St. James’ Park at the end of the season.
The Toon certainly ought to be exploring a reunion, as Steve Bruce is not seeing anywhere near the needed level of competition for places from Dwight Gayle, Andy Carroll and Joelinton to leave 10-goal top-scorer Callum Wilson carrying the burden.
Gayle, Carroll and Joelinton each have scored just once in the Premier League this season, to extend appalling records of netting only five in 31, one in 35 and three in 61 games respectively over the past two campaigns combined.
Armstrong would be expected to offer a much higher level of competition for Wilson in the top-flight next term, should he be signed and Newcastle stay up, or fire the goals that secure United an immediate return from the second-tier.
Only Ivan Toney (28) and Teemu Pukki (22) have scored more often in the Championship this season than Armstrong (19), but each play for sides in Brentford and Norwich who have a chance of securing automatic promotion while Blackburn are 16 points adrift of the play-off places.
Yet Rovers boss Mowbray has no doubt in Armstrong’s talent, noting last month how the forward is “special” and has “Premier League quality”. It’s that type of quality that Lee Charnley should be working to bring back to St. James’ Park and Ashley must sanction the signing.
AND in other news, Newcastle are tracking a 20-year-old talent who has “played out of his skin”…