We are now over two weeks into the transfer window and rather unsurprisingly, it has been a chaotic one for Newcastle United.
The reasons are clear; they are desperate for players to ensure Premier League survival and they are now famously known as the richest football club on earth.
The Magpies have bolstered their squad with two marquee additions in recent weeks with Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood arriving.
However, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done, namely in bringing a centre-back to St James’ Park.
It’s thought another striker is wanted by the club’s new Saudi owners and Newcastle’s recruitment team but a name who definitely won’t be joining has been revealed by transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.
He issued the following update on Twitter: “Rumours linking Mario Balotelli with a move to Newcastle in January are wide of the mark. ‘Fake news’ – comment from sources.”
Although the Toon Army will be desperately craving new acquisitions between now and January 31st, the idea of Balotelli penning terms is unlikely to have been welcomed well by the club’s fanbase.
Of course, he is a hugely experienced character and is also someone who would add plenty of humour and character to the dressing room.
However, with Howe’s men engulfed in a severe relegation battle, winning just one game all term, the last thing you’d want to do is sign someone as controversial as Balotelli.
After all, the Italian is not a regular goalscorer anymore and he’s also now aged 31, past the peak of his powers.
The former Manchester City forward currently plays his football in Turkey for Adana Demirspor where he has found the net on eight occasions this term.
That isn’t a bad tally at all, but the fiery striker has failed not once but twice in English football, enduring a controversy-hit spell at City and then bagging just four strikes in 28 outings for Liverpool.
Right now, Howe needs a player capable of hitting the ground running, either boasting successful Premier League experience or being a player with elite potential – like Sevilla centre-back, Carlos.
As a consequence, Newcastle are right to swerve a move for the ex-Italy international this month and as a result of doing so, the St James’ faithful should be rather delighted with the decision making of Nick Hammond and co.