NEWCASTLE United have been told they must raise their bid to more than £2million if they want to land Crystal Palace wonder-kid Victor Moses.
United lodged an offer of £1.5million for the teenager following their 2-0 defeat of Palace on Wednesday but were told that the South London club’s administrators want in excess of £2million for the 19-year-old, who has become one of the hottest properties inthe Football League this season.
The administrators believe they have a strong bargaining hand with United’s promotion rivals Nottingham Forest and West Bromwich Albion also in the hunt for Moses, who has become a viable target after Palace were put into administration earlier this week.
Stoke and Manchester City are the other interested parties but Moses’ agent Tony Finnigan confirmed to The Journal that the Premier League pair are yet to put a bid on the table.
Whether United owner Mike Ashley will sanction an increased bid is now the question, although it appears as if the player would be prepared to talk to Hughton if a bid was accepted.
The Moses camp are understood to believe that a move to the Premier League – and being deprived of first-team starts – may not be beneficial to his progress.
“I know that Newcastle United are seriously interested in Victor and have made a bid,” Finnigan last night told The Journal.
“At the moment there are three clubs that are interested and they are all Championship clubs but there are others who have been mentioned as well, such as Manchester City.
“The interest of Nottingham Forest and West Brom is well documented but I don’t know whether any Premier League clubs would be prepared to take a punt on a kid who has not played in that division yet.
“Lots of teams have watched him but it’s whether they’re prepared to go the next step and put money on the table like some of the clubs have done.”
Intriguingly, Moses was offered to Sunderland by the Palace directors a fortnight ago but Steve Bruce believes it is a year too early for the striker to make the jump into the Premier League.
Chris Hughton recognises that Moses – a quick and physical player who can also fill in at left-wing – would fulfil the transfer blueprint that United are working to. At 19 he has huge potential re-sale value and can fit in a few positions, adding strength-in-depth to a squad that would be left exposed by injuries to key players.
United will be wary of getting into a bidding war with megabucks City, who will be able to trump any offer they make. Ashley pulled the club out of the race for Jermaine Beckford at the £1.8million mark, some way short of the cash Palace want for Moses. Hughton is happy with his transfer business so far but wants two more new faces in before Monday afternoon’s deadline – a centre-back and a striker.
United were reported to be close to signing 25-year-old Honduras left-back Osman Chavez, who currently plays in his homeland for Platense.
There were claims he had been in the North East for a medical – but Chris Hughton yesterday denied that a move for the player was imminent. However, Platense president Eduardo Ramos insisted: “Newcastle have been interested in Osman for some time and he is keen to play in England.” Meanwhile, Newcastle completed a permanent deal for Mike Williamson yesterday, with the former Watford man inking a three-and-a-half-year deal at St James’ Park. He had been signed on an emergency loan in order to play against Palace.
“I’m delighted to get my move all sorted now and I just can’t wait for the next game at Leicester City,” Williamson said.
“My debut was a special occasion and it couldn’t have gone any better. I’m immensely proud to be a Newcastle player and this is a very exciting challenge for me.”
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