Well, if the morning rags are to be believed then I’ve been way off the mark in my thinking that Jermaine Beckford’s move to Newcastle United was simply a case of crossing the i’s and dotting the t’s.

Although it’s hard not to be a little sceptical of these rumours, it’s hard to ignore them when so many teams are being linked. Over the summer there was plenty of teams linked too, but with everything quiet in Newcastle, this would seem an obvious explanation as to why. Ken Bates may have started a bidding war.

The major difference between now and six months ago would be price. In the summer, Leeds had Jermaine tied down for another twelve months so could afford to wait for a good offer. With Jermaine requesting a transfer and Leeds pressed for time, a cut price deal could now be struck by one of these clubs.

You have to also consider the teams current positions. Six months ago, Bolton, Hull and Wolves didn’t know they’d be fighting for survival with a lack of strength upfront. Sunderland meanwhile are probably just in it to annoy Newcastle, but if Jermaine could produce the goods at the highest level, it could make the difference between a top half or bottom half finish for them.

I’m a bit overwhelmed by the amount of links this morning has spawned so I really don’t know what to make of any of them. I remain unconvinced as to whether Jermaine could cut it at the highest level, but if the scouts think so then you have to trust their better judgement.

January is a crazy time when clubs have just 31 days to strengthen their squad for the final push each season. With that in mind, I honestly think anythings possible. Some of these clubs could have only just noticed Beckford from his goal at Old Trafford and figure he could produce that week in, week out in the Prem.

I still think the lads hearts set on Newcastle. Over the last few days it’s seemed like both he and his agent have been trying to engineer the move, so it would seem inevitable. If Bates thinks he could get more money by Jermaine going elsewhere though, he could be in for a battle.

The easiest rumour to dismiss is that of Wolves. It’s claimed that a deal involving Sam Vokes plus cash has already been rejected by Leeds. For me, that’s an easy link and lazy journalism at it’s best. Seems like this is going to run and run either way.

  • steve

    I still think that Beckford’s move to Newcastle is a done deal and that it will be announced when Leeds sign a replacement.
    Interestingly Jay Bothroyd was left out of the Cardiff City side
    yesterday after they received a bid from an unnamed club on Thursday!

    • matt

      They wouldn’t sell him, he’s a good player and we probably wouldn’t have the money to sign him anyway. Tis a no go ;)

      • TSS

        I disagree. Cardiff City are in desperate need of cash. Didn’t you read my earlier post laughing at Ridadale? Tut, tut.

        • James Morris

          Leeds tried to Bothroyd when he went to Cardiff. He went there because he didn’t want to drop down to League one.

  • Toon Army

    Beckford has his heart set on a move up here. The other PL clubs being mentioned are either going to be relegated this season or next season.

    Why would he move to them now when he can be almost guarenteed to be playing in the PL next season moving to NUFC.

    I think the only think stopping him moving up here is the fact that NUFC won’t pay a penny more than they have already offered.

    • Paull

      I know it won’t please you but I still think that Sunderland are a dark horse. It’s certainly not the first time that they’ve had their name linked with Beckford and Bates will have only three criteria, cash,cash and cash.

    • replier2

      Your club is still not financially sound…they may huff and puff but admin is still a possibility. -25 points on the horizon!

    • replier2

      Your club is still not financially sound…they may huff and puff but admin is still a possibility. -25 points on the horizon!

      • James Morris

        I agree with that. Funny how the same figures are mentioned for Harewood and Beckford.. 1.5m. Probably because they have no more cash.

      • Toon Army

        You forget we have a billionaire owner so administration is a ridiculous notion.

        If we go up we will be the most financially sound club in terms of turnover to expenditure in the PL. Obviously City and Chelsea have rich owners but in terms of what teams can afford on turnover we will be right up there.

        Obviously we need to get promoted first like…

        No PL club fancies him, if that was the case he’d have been gone by now.

        Hull, Wolves, Bolton, Burnley or Newcastle, who would you rather play for?

        Toon all the way…

        • Dje

          Well, the first four teams guarantee half a seasons worth of Premiership football, Newcastle offers half a season of Championship football and the possibility of promotion to the Premiership for next season. The question for Beckford is, ‘do Newcastle want me for the Premiership or for me to get them there?’

          As to Newcastle having a billionaire owner, only a fool would think that Ashley would destroy his entire sportswear business to continually pour money into an empty pit of a financial mire as Newcastle United (in the Championship). If he could recoup every penny that he’s already wasted on the barcodes then he’d jump ship straight away. You can hardly credit Ashley with having a deep-seated love for the club!

          I don’t follow your optimistic economic forecasts for Newcastle if they return to the Premiership this season. The last I heard you’d reduced your wage bill to around £40-45m per annum – so you must still be making a massive loss – and that is with a predominantly Championship-quality squad. If you get promoted then don’t you think you’re going to have to bring some better players in, no?

          All said and done, getting promoted this season would be your best bet for financial security, and for getting rid of Ashley as soon as possible.

          Best of luck for the rest of the season.

  • Beckford had set his heart on Newcastle because they were the only suitors and they had probably advised Beckford of the 3X salary hike.

    With other clubs probably now offering similar salary hikes and Beckford’s family living in the south, anything is possible.

    Of course Bates could be behind the rumour of other clubs but can Newcastle take the chance. I reckon Leeds hand just got stronger and it’s up to Newcastle to stick or twist!!! Beckford’s the pot. MOT

  • Henry V

    If Mr Beckford moves to Newcastle he will need to wear two pairs of gloves!!
    I think the long list of clubs is just journalists telling lies – they have done it before.
    They may be interest from another club, but scouts have been looking at him for a long time
    and I think most don’t fancy that first touch.
    I think he will score plenty of goals for Newcastle. I hope he does!!
    He’s worth a punt at £2.5m.
    I’d rather have him than £30m Berbatov!!!

    Henry.

  • Harry

    If a deal had been agreed with Newcastle I don’t think Beckford would have played yesterday. I suspect Newcastle have yet to offer the amount Leeds want so they are still picking him and demonstrating to Newcastle that they mean business. The ball is in Newcastle’s court and Leeds will clearly consider any alternative bids in the meantime. Unfortunately a drawn out saga does not help Leeds as if he is going to go we need to find a replacement. I think the first sign from the club that he’s on his way will be an announcement that we’ve had a bid accepted for a replacement.

  • Peter T

    I think his goal at OT and the cost £2m means that several lowly Prem clubs may take a punt
    He is unproven but a few goals can make the differnce betwwen staying up or not
    He made Brown look a muppet and there are many Prem defenders who are worse
    I can see a few desperate managers will have a go but think JB wants to go to Barcodes
    If he goes to bottom end Prem club he could be back at ER next year

  • tim the white

    I have been reflecting on the JB saga for a few days. His first touch as criticised by Allan Clarke is valid, but he makes up for this with electric pace from a standing start. I thought he worked hard yesterday and for me was probably the best Leeds player. There was one stunning break and shot in the second half from him. However there are not too many clubs which will give him the right service for his game. If Arsenal took him on he would get loads of goals and probably also at Liverpool playing with Torres and Gerrard. If he goes to Newcastle or Bolton – well it could be a bad move for him. We should have paid up and signed him in the summer as we will probably have to pay up for a replacement – do you remeber the Jimmy F-H saga? Having had another look at Grella and Gradel yesterday, I think we are going to struggle without him and I am not sure the options available in the market will be as good as JB. As usual it is all about agents wanting their fee.

  • Dje

    Whilst Beckford’s first touch is suspect, his pace is not. Defending against pacey forwards means a completely different tactical setup than when you’re facing a highly skillful but slow forward. If you’re the manager are you going to leave that much room at the back against a pacey forward just because he has a suspect first touch? You can just see the post-match interview after you’ve gone down 2-0 to two swift breakaway goals by that pacey striker: “Yeah, well, we figured he had a lousy first touch so we didn’t really bother marking him and pushed the backline way up towards the halfway line; truly, it’s a complete shock to us … oh, AND the referee gave five minutes of injury-time. That is an insult to the game and to the players out there!”

    If you don’t have pace upfront in your squad then £2-3m is still cheap by Premiership standards just to have that option. It’s also ideal if you’re one of the crappier Premiership teams and need to rely on hoofing the ball upfield and hoping that some speedy kid will outpace their marker for your goals. Howson’s ball against Man Utd was exquisite, but it was also a clear demonstration of how you could get a goal against one of the “the big four” with little more than a desperate punt-of-a-clearance from the right-back AND having Beckford in your squad.

  • chris

    i like lots of you thought that beckford was on his way to the barcodes, now it seems it may not be the done deal. like i have said previous why dont we just pay him what he wants because to find a replacement is near impossible at the moment.i dont think he really wants to leave leeds its more his agent pushing for a pay day for himself.

  • steve

    I agree that the next firm news about Beckford will be when we also announce the signing of a replacement. Don’t rule out Bothroyd as Grayson has a habit of signing people that none of the papers mention.

    • chris

      would you rather have beckford or bothroyd, it will probably cost allthe beckford money to buy someone else plus higher wages.

  • Colin

    Radio Leeds did hint that Leeds were talking to a PL club earlier this week. I think that the longer this goes on, the less likely it is that Becks goes to Newcastle.
    I was surprised that he played yesterday, and he played well, albeit the service to him was poor, and he got a good reception from the fans.

    I think the key point is what amount equals ‘silly money’ – it’s got to be around £4-5m I guess, as this is what it will take to get a like for like replacement. Leeds have always said they’d be happy to let him go on a free as the end of the season.

    I can see this dragging on all of January and if nothing’s been done by the last week of Jan, then surely Leeds won’t sell as there would be not enough time to negotiate getting another striker in.

    Maybe just maybe, Leeds are being a bit cute here. They let all the speculation go on, keep playing Becks through January, and then right at the end of January, they say to Becks (to use a Newcastle phrase), “Jermaine, here’s a new contract offer…take it or leave it!”

    I still reckon there’s a chance that Becks will be a Leeds player at the end of the transfer window. Whether he’s on a new contract is something else!

  • Colin

    Latest betting on Beckford’s club after Jan transfer window is:

    Newcastle 1/3
    Leeds 6
    Wolves 10
    Sunderland 10
    Aston Villa 12
    Wigan 14
    Stoke 14
    Bolton 16
    Middlesborough 16
    Birmingham 33
    Liverpool 33
    Arsenal 40

    • Colin

      I reckon taking a punt on Becks still be at Leeds at 6/1 is a pretty good bet??

      Not sure whether any of the Newcastle boys who have joined us on here have any thoughts on whether they think the move to Newcastle is a good bet at 1/3 on? That would make you think it’s a done deal but I’m not so sure.

      Any thoughts on whether you think I should put money down on Becks to be at Leeds at 6/1?? Any rumours, opinions, thoughts???

      • Colin

        sorry should have said 3/1 on, but just to confirm, he is 1/3 to join Newcastle

    • James Morris

      Villa may be worth a fiver..

      They are offering Harewood back to Newcastle to distract them from the real asset. :@)

      • Colin

        Villa for Beckford, maybe with a loan back of Delph perhaps for the rest of the season??

        Hmmm?

        • James Morris

          Nah.. they’d both be keeping the bench warm

    • Colin

      Here’s a thought and feel free to shoot it down in flames if you wish.

      Maybe Beckford’s agent is only interested in getting a better contract for Beckford.

      1) I believe that Beckford does not want to leave Leeds. He’s happy here and settled with his girlfriend and let’s face it, he got a good gig here, and able to score lots of goals and he knows he’s in a lot better place than he was 4 years ago when he was playing part time and working for the RAC.

      2) Grayson in his press conference mentioned that he received the transfer request and said “let’s leave it a week and we’ll talk then.” I can understand that, especially with the Man Utd game coming up and Beckford kept his mouth shut and no-one knew of anything. Does this suggest that Leeds were/are thinking of offering Becks a new contract??

      3) Perhaps, Becks’ agent says “I’ll be the bad guy and announce that you’ve put a transfer request in.” That way Leeds will be under pressure and know that we’re not taking this lightly and that Becks really does need a new contract.

      4) Were Newcastle used to drum up interest and put further pressure on Leeds? Beck’s agent has a relationship with Newcastle through Nile Ranger.

      5) When a player puts a transfer request in, it usually means that the player has no interest in playing for the team again. Yet, Becks was on the teamsheet and put in a hard shift for Leeds. A manager of Grayson’s quality would surely have said “OK Jermaine, you’ve put in a transfer request – so do you really want to play for Leeds or not?” Becks must have said – “Simon, I want to play for Leeds”. Otherwise, Grayson would not have picked him?

      6) Grayson says to Becks “So why put in a transfer request?” Becks says “I want a new contract on more money.” Grayson says “OK, Jermaine, let me see what I can do. I’ll speak to Ken Bates and see what he says, but until we get an answer then you have to keep playing.”

      7) Wouldn’t both Grayson and Bates be seen as “heroes” (not sure if I can bring myself to say that about Bates), if they kept Becks and then say, “We took on all these clubs in the CCC and PL and we kept him. That’s because we’re a bigger club than all the aforementioned teams and because we’re going places. Leeds are not a selling club, blah blah, blah.”

      Summary: I reckon Leeds have everything to gain by signing him up on a new contract.

      What do you think??

      • Dje

        Seems a very risky strategy. Once Beckford, or his agent, went public with putting in the transfer request, the fans could have (and arguably were expected to) turned against Beckford and made it very awkward for him to continue to play for us. Any possibilities of Bates and Grayson looking like heroes in getting Beckford then to sign a new contract with us would have been turned on its head and made them look as if they were completely out of touch with the fans’ wishes.

        I think you’re bang on with Beckford’s agent only interested in getting the best new contract for Jermaine (and his own pay day too!), it is, afterall, what makes them a ‘good agent’ from their client’s point of view.

        I don’t think Beckford has his heart set on Newcastle. He’d probably have to move house again and it’d take him even further from his family in London. If a team came in that offered him guaranteed Premiership status now then I dare say that might tempt him as he’s not that young by the standards of the usual League One player who gets a Premiership offer. It’d still probably be only half a season of Premiership football with relegation a strong possibility, but that’s perhaps the best opportunity he’ll ever get to showcase that he (possibly) can cut it in the Premiership.

  • James Morris

    Hopefully they will get the Norwich manager and they will fall to pieces. :@)

  • Joe Black

    This Beckford “will he,won’t he” and the rumours about Grayson and Burnley are going to affect the club whilst there is no transparency on these 2 matters. It seems Beckford will go so the sooner he does and a replacement is brought in the better it will be for settling things down. Better still would be a clear statement from Bates and Grayson that Grayson is gong nowhere. Then the lads can get back to concentrating on their football and we can forget the poor performance against Wycombe, who should not be allowed to come to Elland Road and get a point never mind scoring a goal!

    • Anthony Henry

      I wish to god they would just get rid of him at this stage. It is going to unsettle everything and all the speculation is getting irritating from different websites ie. Goal.com.

      F@@k him, there have to be other players out there who can do a job for us. I just wish they would get it sorted and end it!!

  • I still don’t think that Newcastle are guaranteed promotion and some of the blogs I’ve read from some of their supporters they’re also of the same opinion. Forest are the team to watch in the championship. The barcodes only need a couple of injuries and their season could fall apart. I’m indifferent regarding the Beckford saga, don’t really want the lad to leave but wouldn’t be heartbroken if he did. Can see the sense in cashing in on a commodity that at the end of the day obviously doesn’t see his long term future at ER. Nothing would please me more than Beckford leaving for the Barcodes, them messing it up CCC and us playing them next year! Now that would bring a smile to my face!

  • Craig

    Shows that the rags can’t be believed doesn’t it?