The Toby Alderweireld Debacle
Gary Lineker was left fuming last night as Director of Football Joe Kinnear blocked his £8.75 million approach for Ajax center back Toby Alderweireld. Kinnear cited Alderweireld's poor fitness as reasoning for canceling the deal but ESPN can reveal there may be more to the story.
Kinnear's recent outburst to Sky Sports and some insider information from St James' Park lead us to believe that Kinnear pulled the plug out of spite.
This was Gary Lineker's first approach for a player as manager - and he went straight for a young semi-established Belgium international in Toby Alderweireld. Alderweireld was placed on the transfer list at Ajax after he handed in a transfer request and Newcastle fought off the likes of Arsenal and Milan for his signature on a £40k-per-week contract lasting until Jun 2016. This signalled intent, something power-crazy Kinnear couldn't handle. Kinnear canceled the deal claiming that a minor injury picked up just days earlier could jeopardize the deal, and so he pulled the plug.
Just hours after, and with Alderweireld unhappy at a club that would not play him after his transfer shenanigans, Lineker went straight to chairman Mike Ashley to try and salvage the deal.
Ashley agreed that if the two parties could agree on a deal now, that Alderweireld could spend one more season at Ajax, confirming his injury-free status and link up with Newcastle at the end of the season if he could pass his medical then. Alderweireld was so desperate just for a better European team that he agreed a cut price contract of only £21k-per-week.
When asked about the signing, Kinnear slyly stated, "He won't have the last laugh about this, now I am off for a kebab".