Newcastle Football Club can be like a soap opera at times. Like many soap operas it seems that the main villain of the piece Magpies owner Mike Ashley may be turning over a new leaf.
The London businessman promised that the club would spend money this summer, after the Magpies terrible campaign last season. It looks like he could be true to his word.
The Magpies are on the verge of their second summer signing with Serbian starlet Aleksandar Mitrovic set to arrive from Anderlecht for a reported fee of around £13million.
Negotiations have apparently been on-going between the player’s representatives, his club and Newcastle since Thursday and it seems a deal has now been finalised, subject to a medical.
Mitrovic is a highly-rated youngster and last season scored 23 goals for Anderlecht in 44 appearances in all competitions, including finding the net in the Champions’ League group stages against both Arsenal and Dortmund.
The 20-year-old is regarded as one of the brightest young attacking players in the European game and signing him could be something of a coup for the Magpies.
The last few seasons have been uninspiring on Tyneside as the Magpies have struggled to produce anything for the Toon Army to get excited about, nothing good anyway, although the relegation battle at the end of last season will have caused a few heart palpitations.
For too long the very loyal Newcastle fans have had to put up with poor football and a team who gave their best impression of a pub team last season under John Carver.
For their sheer dedication to their football clubs cause Newcastle fans at least deserve a bit of excitement next season and the club may just produce the goods.
Dutch international midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is an exciting signing. The versatile attacking midfielder joined the Magpies for around £14million from Dutch champions PSV, who also lost star winger Memphis Depay to Manchester United this summer.
Wijnaldum is the sort of player that Newcastle have failed to attract in recent years. He may not quite be in the top echelon of talent yet, or he maybe would have joined a team playing Champions League football, but he can go to become a very good player for the Magpies.
Mitrovic is an equally exciting signing. Newcastle have not been in the habit of spending big in the recent past, but it seems that Mike Ashley is finally prepared to put his money where his mouth is to help the Magpies to move forward.
The signing of Wijnaldum and the potential arrival of Mitrovic are a step in the right direction and it proves that Newcastle are now moving forward. Something had to be done after the disastrous second half of last season’s campaign.
There are still fans cynical about how much Ashley is willing to shell out this summer in order to right the wrongs of last season, but so far he has shelled out a decent amount of money by Newcastle’s previous standards in recent years.
The club is on a stable financial footing, which has meant they have been able to spend money this summer. However, the Magpies hierarchy cannot afford to rest on their laurels as the team needs more than just two summer signings so far.
The Magpies interest in QPR striker Charlie Austin has been well-documented. Whether the clubs attempts to sign the former-Swindon striker are effected by the signing of Mitrovic remains to be seen. Signing Austin may not be a priority now that the Magpies have signed Mitrovic and have other forward options available.
The Magpies were favourites to sign the striker, but they are now second favourites at odds of 11/4, with Aston Villa moving ahead of them in the betting to capture the strikers signature this summer.
If nothing else the clubs activity in the transfer market so far this summer has lifted the doom and gloom from the second half of last season. There now seems to be a more positive mood amongst the Toon Army that the new season may just be a brighter one.
Like any soap though there is sure to be a few twists and turns in the plot along the way in the new season. I am sure Newcastle fans have now learnt to expect the unexpected with their club by now.
Can Newcastle move forward in the new campaign?