DEREK Llambias has defended Newcastle United’s summer transfer window and claimed the club’s refusal to make “knee-jerk decisions” was the ultimate reason for them failing to acquire the striker they hoped would replace Andy Carroll.
In a pre-prepared statement, United’s managing director says the club recruited players of “exceptional quality” to St James’ Park during the summer.
But he admits that supporters will naturally feel “frustration” at the way the big target – a striker to shoulder the goal-scoring burden until the turn of the year – evaded them.
A forward was a “priority” target but Llambias puts the failure down to “complex and protracted negotiations” while also claiming the club would not just do business for the sake of it.
In a statement that was attributed solely to the club’s managing director, Llambias said: “Now that the transfer window has closed, we have had some time to reflect on the business we have conducted over the summer.
“Our aim was to secure young players who represented value for money and could add real strength to the squad.
“The majority of our transfer dealings were completed in the early part of the window and we feel we have signed some players of exceptional quality.
“Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux, Medhi Abeid, Demba Ba and Gabriel Obertan were all brought in early and we have seen these players settle quickly into the squad and perform well on the pitch.
“Earlier this week we were delighted to sign Davide Santon from Inter Milan to fill our left-back position after the departure of Jose Enrique. Davide is an excellent young prospect and we're sure he'll be another superb addition to the squad.
“We also welcomed young goalkeeper Rob Elliot from Charlton Athletic who will help us retain healthy competition for that position after loaning out Fraser Forster to Celtic.
“Of course we had also hoped to secure a further striker in the window, in addition to Demba Ba. Work to bring a striker into the club began early in the summer.
“Negotiations were complex and protracted and unfortunately it was disappointing that ultimately we could not secure our priority target.
“While we did turn our attention to alternative prospects in the latter stages of the window, we have a very clear transfer policy and will not make knee-jerk decisions at the last-minute which are not in the best interests of the club.
“We understand that supporters will feel frustrated that we did not sign another striker during the window, but it was not for lack of trying that we did not bring our final target in.”
The club have been braced for criticism since failing to land the striker and know that bridges need to be built with supporters.
Boss Alan Pardew is also taking time before he makes his next public proclamations, although he is understood to be angry and frustrated that there is no new striker on board to help consolidate the club’s fine start to the season.
Meanwhile, Newcastle target Pape Cisse has revealed that United’s bid for him came “too late” to take him to St James’ Park.
The striker was earmarked for a late move, but United’s £10.7m bid was rejected – and they did not come back with an improved offer before the deadline.
The Freiburg striker explained: “I wanted to leave. Honestly, I wanted to leave, but hey, the transfer window is over. I have a contract with Freiburg.
“I do not want to provoke a clash with my club. I wait for the right time. For example, Newcastle had put in 12 million euros. But they arrived too late.”