FORMER Newcastle United boss Kevin Keegan has taken a fresh swipe at former boss Mike Ashley over the sale of Andy Carroll – saying he doesn’t believe Alan Pardew will get to spend much of his British record £35million transfer fee.
Keegan who had a stormy relationship with Ashley before resigning two years ago, admits he would have sold Carroll for the fee Liverpool offered – but believes United were foolish to leave themselves short of strikers by selling on deadline day.
And drawing parallels with the £11million sale of James Milner that pushed himself closer to quitting St James’ Park, he also warned current chief Pardew that he should not expect to spend the majority of the Carroll fee on new recruits.
Keegan’s views – expressed in a national radio interview – will not go down well at United, who are adamant they will re-invest the £35m received by Carroll’s sale.
Evidence behind-the-scenes would appear to back up their claims. United had scouts at Celtic’s weekend defeat to Motherwell – checking out Honduras left-back Emilio Izaguirre and striker Gary Hooper – while Pardew himself has been in France recently to run the rule over potential targets.
The United boss has an interest in Lille’s £10million-rated Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, while Toulouse’s highly-rated midfielder Mou Sissoko has been watched recently.
No doubt that will not wash with Keegan, who said: “I saw an interview where Alan Pardew said he hoped to get some of that £35million (from the Carroll sale). I thought: ‘Alan, you ain’t going to get any of that’.
“But I want Newcastle to do well. I think 35 million, if I had been manager at the time and we’d got that offer, I’d have taken it. I’ve got to say.
“But how can you spend it if it is last day of the transfer window? That was my big argument with it, when we were selling James Milner, for a lot of money for him, more than the valuation we
put on him at the time. I said to them, ‘Please don’t sell him until I’ve got someone in, we’ve got four days.’ (But) the guy said I’ve given my word, he goes on Sunday.
“The reason I didn’t want them to put that out was so that I could go and get a good value signing with the money. If you get £11million for James Milner and you go for another player similar, they say well if he is worth £11million, our guy has got to be worth £9million.
“So it is business really, a sensible way to do it.”
Meanwhile, Pardew has warned Steven Taylor he will have to wait for his first-team chance – due to the excellent form of Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini.
The homegrown defender made an excellent return to action this weekend, but the Newcastle boss says he cannot expect to be in contention for a start straight away.
“I signed Steven when I first arrived because I think he’s a great player. The injuries have been a problem for him so I’d like to see him have a sustained run between now and the end of the year when he doesn’t get injured,” he said.
“He’s one of those players who puts himself in a situation where he could get injured, he dives in and attacks things that other central defenders wouldn’t. He’s a good player and he’s up to speed.
“He wants to play but at the moment Williamson and Coloccini are doing an excellent job, and they’ll stay there until such time that they’re not.”