By Richard Parks
Newcastle United do not have the cash to blow Everton out of the water in the transfer market.
At least, that is the case while Mike Ashley’s penny-pinching regime continues to splutter and wheeze in the new era of Premier League mega wealth.
But that should not prove decisive in the race to sign Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.
The Mirror claim the north-east giants are working on a bid to hijack Everton’s pursuit of Ozyakup, 25, and land him in the summer on a free transfer when his contract with the Turkish club ends.
It is said the Magpies have held talks with Ozyakup’s representatives and are ready to meet the player’s £48,000-a-week wage demands.
Everton are also in hot pursuit of the 25-year-old, who has been one of the outstanding players in the Super Lig since joining Besiktas from Arsenal in the summer of 2012.
Ozyakup inspired the Turkish club to the title last season and has been a talisman of the team over the last years.
Operating predominantly as a central midfielder, who can also play as a number 10, the 32-times international is a creative presence who can dictate the play from the centre of the pitch.
He has been directly involved in 76 goals for the club – 27 strikes and 49 assists – which is an impressive tally for someone in his position.
With his contract due to expire in the summer – Besiktas are reportedly desperate to tie him to a new deal – Ozyakup is a man in demand.
With the player soon available on a free, this is a deal Newcastle can seal if they act quickly and smartly.
They can take advantage of the managerial uncertainty at Goodison Park – fresh reports today claim Sam Allardyce is on borrowed time – and land a player who can be recruited irrespective of the takeover position at St James’ Park.
Newcastle will certainly buy more expensive players this summer, even if Ashley remains at the helm, but Ozyakup would represent the best value deal of the lot.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, West Ham have tabled a lowball bid for one of Rafael Benitez’s favourite players.