January is fun. Or not. We must keep up with the rumors, however, so here is your "update".
We got the big story out of the way early. Demba Ba's departure took us squarely out of the limelight and the incessant "Toon Striker To Say Ba-Bye Sooner Than Later" or whatever asinine headline they would have come up with... and I am thankful for that. It also allowed Chelsea to make the questionable decision to run an #AskBa hashtag on twitter. It worked well for Liverpool with the #AskEnrique tag last season... anyway I digress a touch. We know Demba Ba is gone. We know Mathieu Debuchy is here. Let's catch up on what else is going on.
Perhaps I'm just learning how to Twit better. Maybe I'm just learning how to use it better. Whichever way, there was a great tag yesterday in #WheresLoic. As a fanbase we established helpful things such as the fact that he was not at the Hollywood sign (@iwantcurlyhair2), not at the Pike Market in Seattle flinging fish (@CHNOSotP) but perhaps in the carpool lane in Dallas without a passenger (@ComingHomeNUFC). He has been found, however, at winter training camp with Olympique de Marseille. Widespread panic resulted from reports that Inter Milan were planning to come in on Rémy, however it seems that their preference is for a loan move. [Insert club name here to fit rumor], of course, are cash-strapped and would prefer to sell. Take these bits and spin them however causes the most reassurance or panic, and you've got the latest news on Loîc Rémy.
Florian Thauvin is an attacking midfielder with Ligue 1 side Bastia. At 19 years of age and given our recent track record and glut of 19-21 year-olds who are chronically unable to contribute to our squad (particularly at the midfield positions), I am choosing to ignore this one at this time.
Pierre-Emerick has been a popular "Plan B" rumor if a move for Loïc Rémy falls through. Also currently playing in Ligue 1 (for St. Etienne), this is a player that Newcastle scouts would have been able to scout easily over the summer. Playing for Gabon at the Olympics, Aubameyang scored against Switzerland at St. James' Park. This is probably one to monitor. Rated only at £6.2m (instead of £10m or more as Rémy is) and 23 years old (instead of 26) with the same ability to play as a central striker or on either wing (4-3-3, anyone?), Aubameyang will likely be a much easier sell to Mike Ashley. You can go ahead and keep your hopes up about Rémy, but I'm going to go ahead and be shocked if that move ends up going through as opposed to this one. Experience tells us that probably neither will... but hey, I'm not a nihilist.
The arrival of Mathieu Debuchy has been seen by many as the death knell of Danny Simpson's career on Tyneside. Really, his days have been numbered by his refusal (or the club's let us be honest) to come to an agreement on a new contract. Although the club have shown themselves willing to allow players to leave on a free (Joey Barton for instance), it would seem that there is enough interest and value in Simpson that he'll be cashed in while we still can. Possible destinations? Any Premier League club based in London not in the Sky6 (close to Tulisa).
Paul gets a spot here as he has expressed his desire to return on loan to St. Mirren in the Scottish Premier League (ambition!). Davide Santon has looked extremely good at times this season and quite bad at times recently, so this desire probably belies exactly where he feels he falls on the pecking order. It would seem that now would seem to be a good time for a player such as himself to be in Newcastle competing for a spot.