NEWCASTLE United target Douglas is the subject of a big-money offer from Russia – potentially dashing the Magpies’ hopes of signing him at the end of August.
As revealed in The Journal yesterday, United are mothballing attempts to sign the defender until the end of the transfer window after he indicated he would prefer to wait to decide his future.
But they may be gazumped by interest from the East, with FC Twente receiving an offer from an unnamed Russian club on Wednesday.
United are waiting for the resolution of several key deals before moving onto other targets after refusing to pay Twente’s £15million price tag for Holland striker Luuk de Jong.
He has been the subject of a bid from Borussia Mönchen-gladbach and officials from the Bundesliga club were on their way to Holland to discuss the transfer yesterday afternoon.
That comes as a major blow to United, who had seen De Jong as the perfect addition to their squad but did not want to meet what they believed was an unreasonable valuation of the striker.
However, there is better news on their attempts to sign France right-back Mathieu Debuchy. United will move closer to signing the Lille player at the end of the week – and the deal could even be done before the team jet out to Germany for the start of their pre-season tour.
United are also understood to have sent a transfer delegation headed by Derek Llambias (pictured below) to Argentina to look at two young players in South America.
The club are keen to secure the best Under-21 players from across the globe and Mike Ashley has sanctioned a sizeable transfer fund to bolster the development squad. The pair of targets are not understood to be senior players, however.
Most of Newcastle’s priority targets are based in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany – all areas that United have scouted extensively since Carr
reinvigorated the club’s scouting department.
So far this summer Newcastle’s efforts to bolster their squad have mainly revolved around Holland, with bids for De Jong and Ajax’s Vurnon Anita both rejected.
They retain an interest in Erik Pieters of PSV Eindhoven and have also watched Georginio Wijnaldum, who broke into the Dutch national squad last season, although he didn’t make the plane for Euro 2012.
A key part of Newcastle’s recruiting pitch is using the success of Tim Krul at Newcastle to try and encourage the best of that nation’s talent to join United.
It is a tried and tested method for Newcastle, who have enjoyed the benefits of their sky high stock in France after the rise to prominence of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa on Tyneside. Right-back Debuchy is understood to favour a move to Newcastle based largely on the recommendation of close friend Cabaye.
Although United have not dismissed the English market – indeed Alan Pardew is keen to bring in more domestic talent – there is a feeling at Newcastle that the premium on local stars is too high.
Burnley managed to raise £7million for Jay Rodriguez, while Wolves are looking for £10million for Stephen Fletcher.
One English player who has departed United recently – Danny Guthrie – admits his decision to leave Newcastle was made when he lost his place to Cheick Tiote despite his own good form.
After signing for Reading he said: “Last season I played some of the best football of my career, but no matter how well I played someone else would come in.
“I’m excited to get going now after being part of a great bunch of lads at Newcastle United for the last four years. It’s exciting times, but also a bit nerve-wracking as it feels like it’s my first day at a new school at Reading.”