Newcastle break transfer record to sign Hoffenheim forward in reported £40million deal

Newcastle have confirmed the signing of Brazilian forward Joelinton from Hoffenheim.

The 22-year-old has agreed a six-year deal and moves to St James’ Park for a club-record fee, reported to be £40million.

The Brazilian, capped at Under-17 level and who scored 11 goals in 35 appearances for Hoffenheim last season, becomes new Newcastle manager Steve Bruce’s first signing.

Joelinton, who will wear the number nine shirt, will help offset the departures of Ayoze Perez and Joselu.

The Brazilian said on the Newcastle website: “I’m really happy to be here. I know it’s a large investment that the club has made in me, and that comes with a huge responsibility.

“I’m highly motivated and hope to give back on the pitch.”

Joelinton started his career in Brazil with Sport Recife, where he made a first-team debut aged 16.

Following a move to Germany during June 2015, the forward then spent two seasons on loan at Austrian side Rapid Vienna, where he scored 21 goals in 79 appearances.

Newcastle boss Bruce said: “The kid’s got an exciting time ahead of him. He’s a smashing young player and we are obviously delighted to get him.

“It’s been going on for a little bit now, so to get him is great for everybody.

“He’s got everything that a modern-day player wants. He’s big, strong and athletic, and of course he’s got age on his side too which is vitally important.”

Bruce added: “I’m sure he will be a big, big favourite of the supporters.

“He’s got an incredible work-rate about him, he’s got a really good humility about him, and all the attributes a top striker needs.”

Newcastle keen to push through Bruce deal

Newcastle are hoping to appointing Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce as their new manager with the start of the new Premier League season just a month away.

PA understands the two clubs spent Thursday attempting to reach an agreement over compensation with Bruce having indicated he wanted to talk to the club he supported as a boy.

The Magpies are keen to strike a deal for the 58-year-old as soon as possible, with the summer transfer window running down fast and the squad due to depart for the Premier League Asia Trophy in China on Saturday.

Academy coaches Ben Dawson and Neil Redfearn have taken charge of the first few days of pre-season training and are on standby to travel to the Far East if the club does not have a new first-team boss in place in time.

News of Bruce’s impending arrival has been met with a distinctly mixed response on Tyneside, with fans still angry at Rafael Benitez’s exit less than impressed at his candidacy and the fact that the club had already been rejected by former boss Sam Allardyce.

Bruce has won promotion to the Premier League on four occasions during a managerial career which has taken him from Sheffield United to Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Birmingham, Wigan, Sunderland, Hull and Aston Villa.

His time at the Black Cats included a 5-1 derby defeat at St James’ Park, although he secured a 10th-place Premier League finish for the Black Cats at the end of the 2010-11 season, the club’s highest since the Peter Reid era.

The Corbridge-born former Manchester United defender’s links to Wearside may not endear him to the Toon Army, although whoever replaces Benitez faces an intensely difficult task whatever their background.

Sam Allardyce reveals he turned down Newcastle job

Sam Allardyce has revealed he turned down the chance to take the vacant manager’s job at Newcastle.

The former England boss, who held the position at St James’ Park from 2007 until 2008, was under consideration to replace Rafael Benitez, who left the club at the end of June.

However, Allardyce told talkSPORT: “I was very flattered that I was considered but it’s that thing… ‘don’t go back.’

“It never got to the type of talks people are suggesting but it wasn’t for me. I politely said ‘no’.

“I never got to talk to Mike (Ashley, owner of the club). My agent contacted me, I had a think about it and a quick look at the situation and thanked them very much.

“it’s not for me. Maybe if it was the first time around I would have jumped at it. I appreciate the offer but I was surprised, I’ve not worked for a full season.”

Allardyce continued: “‘It wasn’t something I thought about for too long.

“I thought it’d be better to make a quick decision for everyone. We’re in pre-season now and they’re back in training.”

PA understands that another former Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, is the man at the top of the Magpies’ shortlist and that formal contact with the 58-year-old Sheffield Wednesday boss is imminent.

Allardyce believes Bruce would love to be offered the position, adding: “If he gets offered the job I’ll think he’ll jump at the chance.

“I think it would be one of his dreams to manage his hometown club.”

On his previous stint on Tyneside, Allardyce explained: “It wasn’t pleasant in the end but it was in the middle of the takeover.

“I had a fabulous start but we were desperate for better players. I was trying to forge forward and they wanted to go in another direction and I have no problems with that. It was handled brilliantly by Mike and his staff at the time.

“The fans are a bit more tolerant now. They were very good with Rafa because there’s not as much money as other clubs have got and were a bit more patient.

“The transfer market is the hardest part of the job at the moment and getting the right players to go to Newcastle, listening to what Rafa said before, has been a tough job.”

Allardyce is not ruling out a return to Premier League management but maintains the job has to be right for him.

The 64-year-old, whose last top-flight job – at Everton – ended in May 2018, added: “I wouldn’t rule it out but the offer that attracts me may not come now.

“Before I’d (be) ‘I’ll come and try to save you, can I do something here, yeah, let’s go’.

“But what happened at Everton really did disappoint me. This was supposed to be taking the club forward and I never got that chance – and that still rankles with me.”

Defeat to Wolves was the best thing for Newcastle, here’s why

On the face of it, it looks bad.

A home defeat (the second of the season), to Wolves on the back of six straight wins is always going to be a blotch on the season, but the 2-0 loss could be the perfect lesson at the perfect time for Newcastle United.

Make no mistake, the Magpies were poor against Walter Zenga’s side. The defending at times made Sunday League stuff look professional, and Wolves took their chances when they needed to.

Up until today, everything was relatively rosy for Newcastle. The six straight wins, the last of which was a stunning 6-0 away win at QPR, had everyone thinking promotion was once again a formality.

But, just like the opening day loss to Fulham, this was a wake up call for Rafa Benitez’ side, and one that reminded them that this is the most unpredictable league in Europe.

Wolves were stuffed at home by Barnsley on Tuesday night, the same night Newcastle were so dominant in London, and on paper it looked like it should be a comfortable home win for the Geordies.

But Wolves are a game bunch, and after many seasons in the Championship, they know how to bounce back from a heavy loss.

Newcastle, meanwhile, looked as though they were expecting another walkover, and once Chancel Mbemba headed past his own goalkeeper, they didn’t have what it took to turn it around.

The mood in the camp this week would have obviously been jovial, but despite Benitez’ rotation policy, it wasn’t enough to halt Wolves’ cup final.

Dubbing it a cup final for Wolves may seem disrespectful, but the fact is that teams are going to raise their game when they come and play in front of 52,000+ fans, and even more so when they’ve just been hammered in midweek.

They come again on Tuesday in the EFL Cup, and with this defeat ringing in their ears, it will be a different game altogether, and one Newcastle should win more comfortably, having learned from their weekend mistakes.

And hopefully, Newcastle will remember this defeat for the rest of the season, because while winning six in a row is great, it’s not always going to be plain sailing in this division.

And the sooner the squad learns that, the better this season will be.

Five things we learned from Newcastle 4-1 Reading

Finally!

It took three games, but Newcastle finally picked up their first win of the Championship season, with a resounding 4-1 win over Reading at St James’ Park.

Dwight Gayle scored twice, and further strikes (both of which were their first for the club) from Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie secured the Magpies a much needed win.

But what did the win teach us? Here’s five things we learned:

Dwight Gayle Will Score Goals

He’s always been proven outside the top flight, but the longer Gayle went without scoring a goal, the more he’d have the weight of the number nine on his mind.

But tonight, he struck two goals Alan Shearer would have been proud of – the first a stunning 30 yard free kick, and the second a simple poachers tap in to put the game to bed.

The style of play hadn’t suited him in the first two games, but Gayle found a way of getting involved tonight, and took his chances perfectly.

Isaac Hayden And Jonjo Shelvey Are The Best Midfield Pair We Have

It’s still early in the season, so the central midfield partnership is still up for debate.

However, after starting two games in five days with each other, Hayden and Shelvey look to be Rafa Benitez’s chosen pair, and rightly so.

Hayden’s athleticism compliments Shelvey’s excellent passing nicely, and the former Arsenal man has proved he has an eye for goal, scoring his first for the club tonight, after netting in pre-season also.

Once Mohamed Diame returns from injury to play just ahead of them, Newcastle may have found a nice combination for the rest of the season.

Rafa Isn’t Sure Of His Best Defenders Yet

Yes, it was the second game in a week and not everyone can play every game, but in three Championship games, Benitez has chosen three different centre back partnerships.

Tonight it was the turn of Ciaran Clark (the weakest defender we have, if you believe what you read on Twitter), and he gave away the penalty that gifted Reading a way back into the match.

Club captain Jamaal Lascelles was dropped from the side, which was surprising if not deserved, after another poor defensive display against Huddersfield at the weekend.

It’ll be interesting to see if Clark’s inclusion, combined with the win, will see the former Aston Villa defender continue when Newcastle travel to Bristol City on Saturday.

Paul Dummett And Vurnon Anita Aren’t Going Anywhere

With Lascelles on the bench, local lad Dummett took the captain’s armband.

He’ll likely tweet that it was the proudest moment of his life in the coming hours, but in fairness he was the only option, with Shelvey not assured of a place in the team, and everyone else somewhat new or with question marks over their futures.

And despite the midfield rotation, Anita still found a place in the side – at right-back – which I believe is his best position in our side.

We Can Play Different Systems

At 3-1, Benitez took off number 10 Ayoze Perez, and brought Lascelles into the mix.

That meant Newcastle shifted shape to a 3-5-2 formation, a system that takes a lot of courage to play at any level.

But the Geordies looked good with Clark, Mbemba and Lascelles at the back, Anita and Dummett in the wing back roles, and scored a nice fourth goal which was finished off by Gayle.

Whether or not that system will stay for any sustained period remains to be seen, but at least it looks like Benitez has another option up his sleeve for the future if things aren’t going our way.