According to The Chronicle, Newcastle had to abandon their pursuit of Ross Barkley in the summer transfer window.
The Chelsea midfielder was deemed surplus to requirements for this season at Stamford Bridge, with boss Frank Lampard allowing the England international to leave the club on loan.
In the end, Barkley made the temporary switch to Aston Villa, but The Chronicle has now revealed that Newcastle were also in the mix before that deal was eventually done.
It’s suggested that the Magpies retained an interest in luring him to St James’ Park, but that they had to pull out of the running due to not being able to move on fringe players on big contracts – the likes of Achraf Lazaar, Henri Saivet, Christian Atsu and Rolando Aarons.
Whilst picking up Barkley’s reported £100k-a-week wages would have strained the Newcastle finances even more, you can’t help but feel whether the Englishman’s creativity and goal-scoring knack could have really added something for the Magpies this season.
As per Whoscored, he has an impressive career average of two shots, 1.2 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per game, and his guile from a more central position would have helped take the pressure off Allan Saint-Maximin to constantly be the side’s creator.
The one big knock on Barkley has been his lack of consistency, with Alan Shearer admitting before his initial move from Everton to Chelsea that whilst “he’s got the ability”, it hasn’t been seen that much.
A switch to St James’ Park could have seen him rediscover his best form.
And in other news, Newcastle must show no mercy to this ace next summer.