COME ON Boro! Haven’t you signed anyone YET? Get your finger out.
Welcome aboard our multi-platform breakfast to bongs rolling 24 hour news style scrolling ticker tape of destiny. On blog. On twitter. And on the Gazettelive website. I’m wearing my yellow socks. I’ve got the beer and Pringles in. It’s going to be a long one. Maybe. Actually it will probably be weighted more to breakfast than bongs.
Our mooted two new boys – Jelle Vossen and Yanic Wildschut should be getting up round about now and mooching around the Spa or heading towards the Orangery for breakfast after a good night’s sleep at Rockliffe. Soon they will be ready to complete.
They both jetted in yesterday, did their medicals in the afternoon then fine-tuned the deals. The results of the limb-count, *cough* test and scans should be in this morning and then they will pick up the Keith Lamb Memorial Biro and sign on the dotted line. Then back to the Spa no doubt.
Boro will be keen to push through the Lewis Baker deal too. That has been bubbling under for a while and was almost “done” last week before it got caught in the red tape traffic jam behind Patrick Bamford. Boro will want to do it now because that will allow them to have an “ordinary loan” until the end of the season. They could leave it until after the window closes but they they could only get an “emergency loan” which would mean a maximum of 93 days. So ideally that will be resolved today.
After that it may be more about outs than ins… we’ll keep you posted.
And you keep us posted too. We want all your sightings of Stewie Downing at the Neptune Centre, Danny Welbeck at the Tontine or a Spnish bloke that could be Iniesta buying a Lemon Top and taking selfies by the Beacon. Or maybe Peter Odemwingie has pulled up in a car park near you? Let me know.
My first transfer deal of the day has been done. I can exclusively reveal my daughter has completed her move to top flight outfit Macmillan Academy for an undisclosed fee after impressing in recent seasons at St Clares.
As to the outs…
It is no secret that Jason Steele is available. They have been a few nibbles about a loan but unless the interested clubs are ready to pay most of his wages then there is nothing in it for Boro. Blackpool inquired but offered some ridiculously low slice of the wages – something stupid like £800 plus a free pass to the Pleasure Beach – and were knocked back. A few Championship clubs have asked but not firmed up interest.
The problem with Steeley is that his wages are relatively steep for a keeper in this league and the kind of clubs who may be keen can not afford him, while the kind of clubs who can afford him are probably looking at a more experienced, better keeper. But it is deadline day so who knows? Funny things happen.
Also there are some fringe figures available. Andy Halliday is one. He is unlikely to feature and for the sake of his career he needs to get some first team football or when his contract is up in the summer KIlmarnock and Hamilton beckon.
Seb Hines looked to be available a month ago and looked to have played his was back into contention but with another right-back in – Ryan Fredericks – and Ben Gibson back sooner than expected to boost a solid looking collection of centre-backs he may be up for grabs if a bid comes in. Ditto Luke Williams. The arrival of Vossen and possibly Baker leaves the No 10 slot full and winger Wildschut and the form of Adam Reach leaves him a spare part there too. It could be good for him to make a move now and get some game-time.
There has been a lot of talk on the forums about a “surprise exit” and 2+2 = Albert to Forest but their previous approaches have been emphatically knocked back with the chairman insisting he is “not for sale”. He has been a regular starter. He is competition with Emilio Nsue on the right and Karanka want two battling for each shirt.
Ditto the idea that it may be Grant Leadbitter. He is a key part of the engine-room (ironically he is top score as Boro’s spot-kick king) and is one of three fighting for two slots in the holding area. But he’s out of contract next summer. Yes, but the club plan to open talks on a new deal soon and all the indications are he is happy here. But then, it is deadline day and as we know, funny things can happen. But for me, no.
All the talk of a big book-balancing exit seems to be based on fag-pack maths and the assumption that Vossen will be expensive but the club have freed Genk’s political prisoner on a year long loan with an option to buy. The will pay a fee for the initial year (can’t see it being much less than £1m) but that will be discounted against the final fee. The deal will cost Boro 6 million Euro overall (£4.75m) but has effectively been pushed into the next accountancy period for Financial Fair Play and Boro are under no pressure to sell.
Over to you: any rumours, thoughts on the window so far? How about a song? Don’t we usually pick out mood music. Cue wag suggesting “Money’s Too Tight To Mention.”
Normally well informed Belgian sources are suggesting the loan fee for Vossen’s first year will be £1.2m. Which sounds about right.
Everything is more of less done on that now and expecting white smoke soon. (Cue last gasp red tape dash). Any reports of people taking time off work to form a Rockliffe car park flash mob to celebrate the release of the former prisoner of conscience?
The local Belgian TV station last night said farewell to Jelle Vossen with the obligatory (and impressive) “let’s see your best bits” goals compilation video. LOOK.
As respected football pundit (well, more respected than Robbie Savage) Beyonce Knowles remarked about Boro fans on the wireless just this morning:
“I don’t think you ready for this jelly
I don’t think you ready for this jelly
I don’t think you ready for this
Cause my body too bootylicious for ya babe”
Here’s another chance to remind ourself about the long campaign to #FreeJelleVossen.
Ooooh look: white smoke… roll that ticker tape.
NE DEAL: DUTCH WINGER YANIC WILDSCHUT HAS SIGNED FOR BORO….. DONE DEAL: DUTC
Yanic on the Streets of Teesside. Yanic Signing! As revealed on-line by the Gazette on the whistle on Saturday (after sitting on it for weeks) the jet heeled Dutch winger had been lined up and was Boro-bound. Now he’s signed.
He’s a big unit. He’s signed a two year deal with an option of another year in the club’s favour, which seems to be the standard deal at Boro these days. The fee being suggested in the Dutch press is around 800,000 Euro.
And he comes from Heerenveen…. *shudder* (I thought I’d get it in before a typical Boro fans comes along and says we have a 100% record buying duds from there.)
Here’s a bit on TotalDutchFootball that suggests – controversially – that Boro’s new winger is inconsistent. Of course he is. It is part of a winger’s DNA. But he is fast. Very fast. Steve Gibson suggested to me in slightly awestruck tones that he is “faster than Carayol.” And without Muzzy’s afterburners we have lacked genuine pace this season.
Have you got the Jelle wobbles yet? Are you concocting dark theories as to the wait? My guess is that everything is agreed in broad terms but now the agent is haggling over the party-of-the-third-part minutae while Vossen is checking out the millionaire housing out the back of the golf-course. Handy for work if nothing else.
So what could they be arguing over if everything is agreed? The exchange rate? Bonuses? Relocation expenses? The best car parking slot at the training ground? Probably all of those and more. It is usually money though. Vossen is said to be on 1 million Euro a year at Genk, which is about £790,000 in real money. Or a miserly £15,000 a week. How does he manage. The suggestions in Belgium were that Boro will raise that to 1.5m Euros this year (£22,000 per week) and 1.75m (£26,5000 a week) if the permanent deal is activated. Those sums are high enough to worry about getting your man to check the figures carefully.
So, go and make a brew. The man has his calculator out. He may be some time.
Meanwhile, David Craig is outside the training ground at Newcastle with the natives arriving quickly at the prospect of getting on the telly. It looks like we have the perfect conditions for a the first Car Park Doyle Fest of the day.
In fact, once dusk falls and the beer starts to flow we could have a classic. In recent years Stoke, Spurs and West Ham have set the standard for playground posturing, infantile hand-gestures and empty-headed yokel gurning but, for me, this fledgling gathering has the potential to really challenge the big boys. Especially if they start an impromtu anti-Ashley protest. Or bouycout. While wearing Sport Direct bought clothes.
Hey, Newcastle may actually win something. Open top parade!
And at Sunderland Modibo Diakite has been paid to go away as work continues to clear away the costly debris of the ill-fated Paolo Di Canio/Roberto Di Fanti farce.
HE’S FREE! JELLE VOSSEN IS FREE!
Justice has been done. Boro fans’ long campaign to release a prisoner of conscience from his mink lined jail in Genk has finally paid off. Well done Boro fans. People say football fans are amoral, selfish and short-sighted and only concerned with the partisan interests of their own club but this relentless campaign has shown humanity and a deep and touching belief in the rights of the individual and the plight of those incarcerated for thought crimes.
This is our Bimingham Six moment. Everyone, give yourselves a shiny.
WAIT! A statement from the steps outside the courtroom….
A further statement will be made at a later date. Meanwhile, let’s party!
So far we have had high drama from the Low Countries. But don’t switch off…
The two big ones have been done early on, so I’m nipping out for a sarnie. Gibbo, put everything on hold for half-an-hour! You lot, talk amongst yourself for a while….
Word from on high hints at one more possible deal before the window closes – but that Baker probably won’t be completed today. The club are a bit disappointed that they never managed to squeeze it through but reasonably offered in mitigation that “we’ve been very busy.” That may be done as an emergency 93 loan deal later. But the other that may just be done is “off the radar” and would be a major addition to the squad.
Meanwhile the buzz from our counterparts in the West Midlands suggest that petulant perma-pout excuse machine Lee Clark – proof that your Nana was right when she said “if the wind changes your face will stay like that” – has inquired about Seb Hines. Which is interesting.
It was suggested earlier in the summer by someone who may know these things that Hines was one of the fringe figures that may be pruned. People still think of him as “young Seb”
but he has been eight years now, is the longest serving player and is nudging close to a testimonial. And while he has come in and “done a job” at times and put this body – and teeth – on the line he has a poor injury record and has never really looked like nailing a first team place down. Since then he had played his way back into the reckoning with a makeshift role at right-back and covering for Ben Gibson in the middle.
But right-back is now covered with Fredericks in to compete with Abella for that slot – but Boro suddenly seem thin in central defence. With Gibson out and Woodgate making only a brief cameo so far (an having what is most generously described as patchy fitness) there was only Omeruo and Ayala with Hines as cover. And after a poor start to the season at the back (and with Ayala dropping a clanger or two) what had seemed a strong department now looks less than convincing. So that area may need beefing up if Hines leaves.
If they are to bring one in – better, stronger, fitter – then there would be a pressing need to offload to free up space in the squad and the wage bill. And it would take some persuasive selling skills to flog Woody. So…
Meanwhile there are some very good examples of the archetypal #CarParkDoyleFest here. It shows the kind of standard Newcastle need to be aiming at if they are to win something.
It would never happen at Boro. At the stadium maybe, but at Rockliffe it would be all vaguely curious golfers glancing at the lonely presenter and cameraman. And maybe some ladies who lunch on the way for a swanky Spa day.
THERE is a brief ripple in the Teesside twittersphere as a Manchester United player nobody has ever heard of but is ready to believe he is a Dutch starlet in their Academy tweets he is off to sign for Boro then hastily and mysteriously deletes it.
A quick rummage through his cyber-footprint – 27 followers on Twitter and he doesn’t even have a wiki page – reveals that Devino van Riewio – a deadringer for Arnold from Diff’rent Strokes – is actually bound for STEVENAGE. Phew.
MAJOR snub for Sunderland. After weeks of public grovelling, begging and unrequited declarations of love – then no doubt some embarrassing tear-stained late-night drunken texts to their ex – Fabio Borini has dumped the dependable but dull Mackems to run off with flash cockney wideboys QPR – even though they offered far less money or security but have a flash car (and chatted him up through a wound down window.)
Incoming text: “Yes.” Short and sweet but conveys all the information we need for now. The question was: “Is Seb Hines talking to Birmingham about a two year deal?”
Have text back for more details on a fee etc.
*gulp* “Subject to medical.” If it is not completed tonight then could be done as a ordinary loan to get the registration through and then it can be converted to a real deal at any time (as Lee Tomlin was at Boro in January after initially squeezing through on loan.)
Jason Steel to Blackburn gathering momentum. The local paper from that end has heard from a very reliable source that Rovers are weighing up a bid for our man in internal exile although possibly on loan initially and would Boro be open to that do we think? Why, yes, they would. The word from Rockliffe echoes that.
It seems highly likely that Steele – in the last year of his contract – would be allowed to leave on a season long loan with Rovers picking up the bulk of his wages. We know that other loan offers have been knocked back because the suggested wage contribution was very low. Miserly in fact. Yes Blackpool. I’m looking at you.
That would leave Boro light in the gloves department and needing to bring one in. The club may well be looking at that situation.
Right, that’s your lot. We are told that Boro have shut up shop for the night as far as incomings go. They have signed Vossen and Wildschut and it looks likely that Hines and Steele will leave before close of play but the other intended arrivals won’t happen tonight.
A hold-up at the Chelsea end, a midfield injury pile-up we are led to believe, means the Lewis Baker deal won’t now go through tonight but it could be resurrected when the loan window opens next week or when their walking wounded return while the “under the radar” mystery move has also stalled. That also may be revived. Oh well, nice try.
Still, a decent days business. In fact a decent window. But that’s it for today says the main man. So for me – unless someone throws in a “silly money” handgrenade of there is a late night knock-down offer you can’t refuse – it is a leisurely night watching the autocue android JW Scoopbot 4000 send circuit grinding sparks flying across the studio in football’s cross between election night and Eurovision.
I’ll still chip in. Laugh at other clubs. Maybe we can panic about Seb’s medical and if you really want that beat-the-bongs buzz you can sweat on Steele going through as the clock ticks down to 10.55pm.
Now you can weigh it all up and assess what the team will be for Huddersfield.
Just when I was ready to crack open a can and get ready to watch University Challenge – *BUUUUUZZZZZZ – VICKERS! ACKLAM! – news from the West Midlands suggests I will have to crank up the laptop again. I’ll try to find out.
And our man at fellow Trinity paper the Birmingham Mail has been told the same.
Twitter rumours are suggesting that Barnsley may be interested but I can’t find anything more than circular cyber gossip and, besides, if the City deal stalled on wages then I can’t see how the Tykes could better their offer – and if is because of a medical it is an impressive feat of high-speed in transit auto-healing given that Brum to Oakwell is less than a two hour drive. We are told Hines has other options.
Meanwhile, you don’t get more “OFFICIAL” than that: Jelle Vossen has changed his twitter bio. We know how significant that is. It shows an active involvement and engagement and asserts publicly allegiance to a team. Doesn’t it Kei?
How rumours start….
There is a shudder of fear at losing a key player at the 11th hour/ripple of excitement at possibly making the rolling yellow ticker tape and being affirmed as significant as “news” rips through cyber-space of a last gasp £5m QPR bid for Albert Adomah, said to be racing to Loftus Road for a medical.
The story seems to have credibility because it appears to come from the twitter account of ex-Sky Sports web man and transfer gossip merchant Graeme Bailey, now at goal.com and it is quickly picked up by various ITK cut-and-paste bots then breaks into the Boro universe and goes viral and my phones starts bleeping at 160 beats per minute in a rhythm not heard since Depeche Mode were in their pop pomp.
But look carefully. The twitter handle is Bai – capital I– ey. That old trick. Still, on deadline day who looks that closely. IT’S A RUMOUR! Quick! Spread it! D’oh! Quick. Delete it.
Juanfran, our pre-emptively homesick former right-back target has reportedly signed for Watford in a £1.2m four year deal – but before the cynics start shouting the odds about how Watford is hardly the Costa del Sol, it seems he will immediately loaned to Deportivo la Coruna. It’s one of those Watford “ownership” contract Chase The Lady things.
At the death, as predicted, Boro confirmed the move of Jason Steele to Blackburn on a one year loan – and also the signing of Chelsea reserve shot-stopper Jamal Blackman on loan until January.
It was no secret that Steele was going but it was supposed to be a secret that Blackman was coming. We knew but were asked to keep it quiet because it wasn’t expected to be done tonight and Boro didn’t want to alert other clubs. But then it the move progressed quicker than expected and then leaked out at the Chelsea end. so, beaten to the punch.
Gutted. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. That is part and parcel of our job, trading information and access with people, dealing with embargoes and off the record briefings. Those kind of arrangements have made sure the Gazette got every signing first this summer and managed to convey all the twists and turns along the way. Being scooped once is not the end of the world. We’ve done alright.
Obviously the move will raise some eyebrows, swapping an experienced England Under-21 international for a first team novice. But, let’s be honest here, whatever you think of Steele – and I think technically he is the best on the books and is a perfectly able Championship keeper with the potential to get better – he wasn’t going to play and given the money added to the wage bill in the summer Boro can”t afford to have £12-15,000 a week playing in the reserves. So easing him out has helped in that respect.
And Blackman is not just making up the numbers. He comes highly rated and will be expected to actively challenge for a first team place in a way that Steele would not be able to given his internal exile. He will put pressure on Dimi – and on Meijas too. And we all know that genuine competition there is a pressing concern.
A quick detour while in the West Midlands and Seb Hines has just squeezed through the window and signed for Coventry on loan until January.
So that’s it for now… but don’t forget the loan window opens next week!