Bale? Koulibaly? Newcastle could emulate Man City with right signings, says Given

Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2019-20Getty Images

Newcastle could have the likes of Manchester City “looking over their shoulders” if a Saudi Arabian consortium headed by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman complete a £300 million ($367m) takeover of the club, says Shay Given.

A change of ownership at St James’ Park is said to be in the pipeline, with the much-maligned Mike Ashley ready to walk away after 13 years at the helm.

Should the Magpies welcome fresh faces on board, then it could be that a sizeable transfer kitty is made available in the next market.

The likes of City and Chelsea have benefited from such takeovers in the past, with Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich building successful dynasties at the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge respectively.

Excitement levels are now building on Tyneside, with there already talk of Newcastle making moves for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

Ex-Magpies goalkeeper Given is intrigued as to how things play out, with it possible that another of his former clubs – City – could soon have another big-spending rival to worry about.

“It will take a few years. But with the right building blocks, the right recruitment and the right people in charge, then there will definitely be clubs looking over their shoulders,” Given told The Sun.

“It’s possibly harder now compared to City with the financial fair play. I think they’ve tightened up since Man City have come in.

“But Newcastle have a decent team. If they add four, five, six really good players to that they could be in the top six or seven. Then if they add another six or seven players, they can get up there eventually.

“Newcastle already have the stadium. The city would be buzzing and the fans would be queuing out the gate to get in.

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“Once you get one or two big names in the door, then there’s a few more thinking, ‘If he’s joining, I want to go as well’.

“It’s exciting hearing about some of the players maybe coming to the club. Gareth Bale got a mention the other day, Kalidou Koulibaly too.”

Newcastle, who have also seen a return for Rafa Benitez mooted, are currently working under the guidance of Steve Bruce and entered the coronavirus-enforced lockdown sat 13th in the Premier League table.