The Sun have claimed that CSKA Moscow are about to sign Everton winger Nikola Vlasic on a permanent deal after an excellent loan spell with the Russian side – unless Newcastle United make a late offer.
The 21-year-old struggled at Everton during 2017-18 after joining the club from Croatian outfit Hajduk Split. He managed just 19 appearances, but was hardly used by Sam Allardyce.
He was loaned out by Marco Silva last summer to CSKA, and he shone for the Russian side. He scored eight goals and laid on seven assists in 31 outings, even scoring a winner in the Champions League against Real Madrid.
It is understandable, then, that Vlasic looks set to join CSKA permanently this summer for a £12million fee. But the report claims that deal could stutter if Newcastle become interested.
However, The Toon’s inability to confirm the future of manager Rafa Benitez is seeing Newcastle stall on any transfer activity this summer. Indeed, they could miss out unless they make a late move for Vlasic.
Owner Mike Ashley is hated by Toon fans and his struggle to land Benitez on a further deal is now hampering not only Newcastle’s chances of keeping the best manager they have had in years, but success in the transfer market too.
Benitez wants to stay, but needs promises that he will be backed – especially if a takeover does not materialise. Talks are ongoing but a decision is yet to be made. Now, it is affecting their chances of winning transfer races.
Vlasic would be an excellent addition – given his age, resale value and ability to add goals to a side that struggled to hit the back of the net last season. At £12million, he is on the cheap side, but Ashley’s incompetence ends any chance of signing the Croatia international.