'Unbelievably big' - Exclusive: Newcastle tipped to pull off signing of 118 goal/assist PL star
Newcastle United are capable of pulling off the signing of Willian but their biggest hurdle could be convincing him to quit London, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker believes the likes of Chelsea winger Willian will want to stay in and around London if they are to move clubs.
It is understood Newcastle have been in touch with a number of top agents ahead of the summer window and that the Blues’ Brazilian star is a leading target.
However, Whelan believes that the club’s location will pose an issue when it comes to recruitment, suggesting top foreign players want to be down south.
Asked if he thought Willian was the sort of marquee signing that Newcastle could pull off, Whelan told Football Insider: “Yeah, I do, I really do. Not only that but they’ll have the wages to fund the transfer as well, that’s the more important part.
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“The question is would Willian want to go north-bound? To me, I think he’ll be quite settled in the south and if a club comes in for him that’s in and around the London area, that would probably be his first choice.
“This is the big problem for Newcastle. They’re going to have to pay bigger wages to get these players in because some of these intercontinental players want to be near the capital. That’s the biggest challenge they have, enticing these big-name stars to Newcastle.
“Look, they’ve got the fan base, they’ve got the stadium, that’s never in doubt. It’s the locality of the club, a lot of these players want to be in London where it’s a bit more cosmopolitan.
“It’s not right because it’s a massive club, Newcastle, and they’ve got the potential to be unbelievably big and challengers later on in time.”
Willian has an outstanding record for Chelsea, where his 329 matches have yielded 59 goals and 59 assists.
In other Newcastle United news, Whelan has made a massive claim over the club’s takeover bid.