Newcastle have been heavily linked with creative midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup, but they’d be much better served rivalling West Ham’s move for Javier Pastore.
According to reports in Turkey, Newcastle have had a bid accepted for Besiktas midfielder Ozyakup, but the Chronicle has refuted the claims, saying Rafael Benitez “has other targets in mind” as he looks to build on last season’s top ten finish.
Benitez is expected to sign a central midfielder this summer, as Mikel Merino has been linked with an exit and Mo Diame will turn 31 this summer, and Pastore should absolutely be one of those “other targets” on his mind.
According to Sky Sports, West Ham are “in talks” to sign PSG’s Pastore, in deal that could be worth around £17.5m and would signal a real signal of intent on the east London club’s part heading into next season.
The French champions want to offload the Argentina international to help them comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, and he only has 12 months left on his contract.
This means the 28 year-old will be available for a bargain price, and Manuel Pellegrini is hoping he can help bring his free flowing brand of football to East London.
West Ham could yet face the prospect of losing Marko Arnautovic to Manchester United, and will need to sign a superstar like Pastore to keep their fans happy should the Austrian move on. He’d be an ideal fit for Pellegrini’s preferred 4-2-2-2 setup as well, taking up one of the roles behind the strikers – but Newcastle would be foolish not to throw their hat in the ring.
The main ingredient missing on Tyneside right now is goals, and while Pastore doesn’t bag lots of his own, he can certainly help the Magpies create more chances.
Having started just 14 Ligue 1 games this season, the 28 year-old scored four and set up five, while averaging an impressive 1.8 chances created per 90 minutes. To put that in perspective, Jonjo Shelvey averaged 1.6, so having the pair working together could be huge for the Magpies. The Argentine also completes nearly two dribbles per 90 minutes, a number which nobody in the current Newcastle squad can match.
His ability to break the lines with either his passing or dribbling is exactly what Benitez is missing, and Merino would certainly not be missed if Pastore was added to the likes of Diame and Shelvey next season.
So, Newcastle fans, would you back a move for Pastore? Do you think you could beat the Hammers to his signature? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…