The “Northern Notebook” is Yo‘s weekly look inside the biggest football clubs in the north of England, providing insight, analysis and news on the burning issues of the day
Newcastle United would have to double their offer for winger Jack Harrison to tempt Leeds United to sell a player considered integral to Jesse Marsch’s plans this season.
It is proving a difficult market for the Magpies – trapped between the expectation that they will spend big and the reality that they are operating in tighter financial parameters than many realize in this summer window.
They have a real and long-standing interest in Harrison, who they would have had a clear run at had Leeds been relegated. But an initial inquiry earlier this month came in well below Leeds’ valuation, which is in excess of £30m.
Now Leeds are digging their heels in and Newcastle’s transfer hierarchy are left in an all-too-familiar holding pattern. The club would like to add at least two more players, as well as continuing to recruit younger players to their academy.
The Magpies have been faced with the dilemma of moving for targets now or waiting for the transfer logjam to clear so that other options come back into play.
Burnley’s Dwight McNeil has featured in discussions about the left wing vacancy and Newcastle have a long-standing interest that predates the current ownership group in the 22-year-old.
The Magpies want – ideally – to have at least one more player on board before the Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest but senior sources have stressed to Yo that it’s more important to get the right player than add to the squad for the sake of it.
The profile for any striker addition would be a younger player able to back up Callum Wilson, which is why Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko appeals.
But Yo has been told that the Austrian side are keen to keep hold of the striker, whose agent was in Newcastle earlier this week. They see him as a pivotal part of the club’s future.
parrot in demand
Sunderland are one of a clutch of Championship clubs interested in Tottenham’s Troy Parrott.
The Republic of Ireland striker is available for loan again and the Black Cats have made an offer, but Spurs say they want the forward to play in the No 9 role next season after a campaign playing as a No 10 at MK Dons.
It would be a considerable coup for the newly-promoted Championship club, whose recruitment profile was summed up by their move for West Ham’s up-and-coming defender Aji Alese.
The Black Cats also hope to broker a permanent deal for Nathan Broadhead, having discussions opened with Everton.
Business never stops at Liverpool
There’s more movement in Liverpool’s academy as the club look to appoint a new head of recruitment between the ages of nine and 14.
It’s a crucial role that demands expertise in the local area, with academy’s limited to signing players who live within 90 minutes of where they are situated. The job specifications include developing good relationships with grass roots and elite clubs in the area.
In the post-Brexit world all Premier League clubs are making a renewed effort to tighten up their domestic scouting, especially at academy level. Clubs face stringent limits on bringing younger players from Europe so the battle for the best of local talent has intensified.
The Reds have also had a shake up in their medicine department.
Training Ground Guru reports they have appointed Belgian Frigyes Vanden Auweele in as head of osteopathy, which is a practice that seeks to prevent injuries by moving, stretching and massaging joints. It’s understood to be the only role of its kind in the Premier League and is a newly created job at Liverpool.