Envisaging a surge in the cost of players when the Premier League’s new £5 billion TV deal comes into effect, frugal Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is thought to be ready to furnish whoever is in charge at St James’ Park next season with an almighty transfer war chest.
Augmenting their ranks in the final third is believed to be a priority, with the Sunday Express reporting their interest in Burnley goal ace Danny Ings, his Anderlecht counterpart Aleksandar Mitrovic and sought-after West Brom youngster Saido Berahino.
It’s a prospective move for the latter which those conscripted to the Toon Army will find the most tantalising, with a string of high-profile outfits expected to test the Baggies’ resolve regarding the Burundi-born speedster this summer.
Liverpool and Tottenham have frequently been linked and Berahino himself has spoken of his desire to one day depart the Hawthorns in search of fame and fortune with one of football’s heavyweights.
Newcastle do not belong in this bracket, but Tyneside is a stop en route to the top the youngster must get off at.
The aforementioned big-bucks paying, silverware-chasing sides are undoubtedly attractive propositions for the 20-year-old, but games are required if he is to maximise his obvious potential.
A haul of 12 goals in 26 starts for a team that doesn’t bulge the net as frequently as others – only three teams have scored fewer in the Premier League – suggests the 21-year-old can cut it in the top-flight.
However, he isn’t going to dislodge Harry Kane at Spurs, nor Daniel Sturridge at Liverpool.
Both will be looking to bolster their striking departments this summer too, but they’ll be seeking proven goal machines, not fledgling ones.
Berahino would, therefore, be the third-choice centre-forward at either club and wouldn’t be afforded the same number of opportunities he has savoured this term.
Newcastle would guarantee him games after paying double-digit millions to bring him to the north-east.
The Magpies also have a proven track record in elevating the stature of the strikers they recruit, with plenty leaving the club for more glamorous destinations after brief stints at St James’.
Demba Ba used it as a rest stop en route to Chelsea from West Ham and youth product Andy Carroll famously copped the club £35m through a 2011 switch to Liverpool.
Papiss Cisse will leave the club one day having inflated his stock in professional football circles, while Spaniard Ayoze Perez is also proving to be something of a shrewd signing this season.
Looking back into the previous century and Alan Shearer established himself as one of the Premier League’s greatest strikers at Newcastle, while Andy Cole first established this north-east outpost as the quickest route to superstardom, scoring 55 goals in 70 league games before moving to Manchester United.