Newcastle’s move for Danny Ings looks as though it will end in disappointment for Rafa Benitez after Liverpool appeared to indicate that the striker may stay at Merseyside.
The player himself apparently wants to stay at Anfield to prove himself despite an approach from Newcastle. Liverpool did suggest they will give him first team opportunities in the second half of the season though I can’t help thinking this will be limited to cup games.
Ings is one of the strikers Rafa saw as perhaps a solution to Newcastle’s goalscoring problems and a loan move for the former Burnley man seemed to be the idea.
Dwight Gayle, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and Joselu have all spent time up front for the Mags but not one of them cemented their place and none seem capable of striking the ten or so goals needed from a hit man in the second half of the campaign.
Don’t get me wrong, Newcastle should really be in the position to buy at the very least the likes of Cenk Tosun (£27million to Everton) if not better but the reality is that it won’t happen in this window, so here are two realistic possibilities for Rafa Benitez now that it seems Ings will not arrive:
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Well, if they can’t get one Liverpool outcast, go for another! In all fairness, I would back Rafael Benitez to get the best out of Sturridge as long as it’s on a short-term basis.
Suddenly, the public seem to talk about Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford and “one other” for the England World Cup squad and yet what seems like five minutes ago Sturridge would have been a regular member of the national squad with his place not in danger.
Like Ings, Sturridge simply isn’t going to get past Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino or Mohamed Salah for the big games at Anfield and so he may as well move and if he has any chance at all of playing for England again, he needs to be playing in the Premier League and scoring goals.
Islam Slimani (Leicester City)
It’s hard to say that Leicester City will definitely allow Slimani to go, but apparently Rafa has already made enquiries about his availability at the same time as he did so regarding Ings.
Slimani would not be many people’s idea of a long term solution on Tyneside if indeed the big money comes from PCP Partners, though for now he would be seen as good enough to help the club avoid relegation.