Newcastle United hope their growing contingent of Dutch internationals will help to secure unsettled Tim Krul’s Magpies future.
United clinched a deal for Siem de Jong on Tuesday and have identified Feyenoord’s Holland international right-back Daryl Janmaat as a potential successor for Mathieu Debuchy, who will leave St James’ Park this summer.
Newcastle have already made contact with Janmaat’s advisers as they anticipate Debuchy’s departure to happen quickly – and the Dutch full-back is understood to be keen on a move to England. The Magpies are resigned to losing Debuchy, who is rated at £12million and has used his Twitter account to drop not-so-subtle hints that he could be on his way to the Gunners.
Newcastle’s move to looking at Dutch players is a conscious effort to drain value out of one of their favourite markets – and they also hope it will persuade Krul United can service his international ambitions.
Krul is understood to have been alarmed at being dropped from the Dutch squad in the weeks before the World Cup and, although he did manage to regain his place in time for Brazil, an unhappy second half of the season has led to him questioning his future at the club.
He is fully aware that he is on Tottenham’s short-list of replacements if keeper Hugo Lloris leaves this summer.
Newcastle believe De Jong’s signing should ensure regular visits from new Holland boss Guus Hiddink next season and give Krul every reason to stay in the North East. That will form a key part of Alan Pardew’s pep talk for Krul when he returns from Brazil to join colleagues who started to return to Benton for medical tests yesterday morning.
Although a succession plan for Krul has been drawn up – and they tried to sign his compatriot Joreon Zoet last summer – they do not want to have to add a goalkeeper to their summer shopping list at short notice.
Newcastle suffered a double blow in their striker hunt yesterday with priority target Pierre Michel-Lasogga finally clinching a move to Hamburg from Hertha Berlin, and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette claiming Champions League football is the major attraction for him in a new club.
United had made extensive checks on both and will still look to Lacazette, who is rated at £10m.
The player’s agent, David Venditelli, said: “If Alexandre was to leave, he would leave for a team which plays in the Champions League, or at least one which is very close to it.” The first tranche of United players back for pre-season fitness tests included new boy Ayoze Perez.
Mehdi Abeid, who has been linked with a permanent move to Panathinaikos, was also back on Tyneside.
Newcastle’s return coincided with their appointment of Dave Billows as their new head of fitness.
The 50-year-old has worked in a variety of sports – including recently with WBO boxing champion Tony Bellew.