ALAN Shearer has warned Newcastle United they will not be able to compete with their relegation rivals for the players they “desperately” need if they don’t pay the “going rate” on wages.
United have been left reeling by Loïc Rémy’s decision to snub them in favour of QPR, who have offered £80,000 a week and a relegation release clause to lure him to South London.
That package has blown Newcastle out of the water, with United certainly not prepared to take a massive loss on the player in the event that they suffered a catastrophic relegation.
Some have argued that Rangers’ financial largesse is a recipe for disaster – even going as far as to say United are better off without Rémy if money was his major motivation.
Shearer, however, has absolved the France international of blame and says that United are running the risk of failing to capture either the striker or centre-back that they need if they aren’t prepared to compete on wage grounds.
United’s all-time leading goalscorer said: “It’s a tricky one. If you don’t pay the best wages or pay the going rate, you don’t get the players. Simple as that. If other teams are prepared to pay that, players will go there – you can’t blame him for doing that, can you?” he said.
“Playing in front of 18,000 rather than 52,000 might feel strange for him, though. If he does go to QPR I’m pretty sure he’ll have a ‘get-out’ clause if they get relegated. But that’s the way the game goes, if you don’t pay the going rate you don’t get the players.”
Speaking at a Press event for the revolutionary exercise system Speed Flex – which is helping to sponsor Paralympian Stephen Miller towards the Rio Games – Shearer (pictured below) admitted to surprise at the Magpies’ predicament.
But he said they “deserve” to be where they are in the table, and that the next two games are critical.
“We all know they punched above their weight last year but they’re better than what they’re showing at the minute. At the minute I’m still saying that I believe they’re too good to go down, but if you were to ask me again in two games’ time I hope I still have that opinion. The next two games are crucial.
“I know they’re getting players back from injury and he (Alan Pardew) is trying to strengthen the squad. We’ll know a lot more by the end of January. It’s not pretty to watch. I know they’ve got injuries, but the sooner they get out of the situation the better.”
Shearer is calling on the United board to cut through the red tape and recruit the defender and striker he feels they “desperately” need.
“They’re desperate for a centre forward and also a centre-half. Whether they do or not remains to be seen,” he said.
“I don’t believe anything until I see the player in a black-and-white shirt, not what I read. It always happens with Newcastle, that we’re linked with a million players and for whatever reason we don’t get them. I’ll believe it when they’re in the shirt.”
The injury problems that United have suffered have had a major impact on their season – but the club are understood to have used the Speed Flex system, of which Shearer is a passionate advocate, to try to aid the rehabilitation of Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic.
The former United striker is now backing Miller, who has suffered with a hip injury that impaired his performance at London 2012, to get to Brazil.
“I’ve said it a number of times: if only it was around when I was playing. One, it would have got me fitter quicker and two, it would have kept me fit,” he said.
“There were things I couldn’t do when I was injured because of other injuries, but with this you can do anything.”