Newcastle United managed to steal Nottingham Forest pair Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow from the Championship outfit for just £5million.
The duo sealed a move to United on Monday before being immediately loaned back to Forest in a move that infuriated Stuart Pearce, who felt that his club undervalued the highly promising pair.
The controversy at the City Ground, however, should not obscure another bit of an excellent business in a transfer window where Newcastle are working efficiently to supplement their squad within the parameters of Mike Ashley’s stringent budget.
Lascelles was valued at around £5million on his own while Darlow, tipped as a future England number one, was thought to be valued at around the £3million mark. But Forest are one of a clutch of second tier clubs that need to comply with Financial Fair Play rules and so had been actively touting Lascelles around all summer.
Still, it was enough to infuriate Pearce, who was appointed earlier in the summer.
“We had an offer from Newcastle, that I was made aware of last week, in regards to the two players going there,” he said.
“The figures that were mentioned, by the representative of our club – I said I would not do that deal, when I was asked the question.
“I thought I could push their value up and that they would be worth more in the long run.
“The first I heard today about things was when Jamaal Lascelles came in and told me that he had a medical at 2pm at Newcastle.
“That disappointed me greatly.”
The plan, at the moment, is for United to loan them back to Forest for the entirety of this season before they return to St James’ Park on a full-time basis.
However, it may be the case that highly-rated Lascelles, a 20-year-old who has been tipped as a future England player, plays a part for Newcastle this season if either of Steven Taylor or Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa are moved on. The deal – Forest are in line to receive an extra £1m when the pair make a certain number of first-team appearances – takes Newcastle’s spending close to £28million.
It is understood that both transfers will be concluded over the next 24 hours after the players undergo medicals and all contract talks are finalised.
That is now nine signings in total this summer and while the money taken in from the January sale of Yohan Cabaye – £20m – and then Mathieu Debuchy’s move to Arsenal – £12m – mean that outlay has been more than covered, the club have now completed more transfer business than most fans dared to hope.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is still keen to bring in a goalscorer, but may have to stay patient and wait until the final few days of the window to make one more capture, be it a permanent or loan deal.