Inevitably because newspapers know that linkingÂ NewcastleÂ with major European players (and even permanently injured English crocks) will whip up a frenzy and generate massive readers, theÂ Daily StarÂ (among others) have suggested that the Magpies are among a small group of clubs who are interested in Marseille winger Andre Ayew.
The Ghanian international â€“ who had a good World Cup individually â€“ is inside the last year of his contract and will be leaving this summer, but his club want to stop the threat of losing him on a free by selling him in January.
There would apparently be no shortage of suitors, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, Spurs and Napoli all joining Newcastle in being linked to the player, as well as Hull, who wanted him as part of the final day splurge on players that saw Hatem Ben Arfa join Steve Bruceâ€™s unlikely revolution.
The star say it isÂ NapoliÂ who are in pole position as Rafa Benitez has been keeping track of Ayew, though he has himself called the Premier League a â€œdreamâ€. But why should we believe for one second that Newcastle are interested in even trying to get Ayew? Yes heâ€™s based in France, and his contract situation makes him comparatively affordable, but thereâ€™s a reason heâ€™s been linked with those â€œbiggerâ€ names, and thatâ€™s the size of his profile and his ability. Heâ€™s a big deal.
Forgive the cynicism, but this is probably either the idle hack maths of newspapers (2+2= A Newcastle bid), or itâ€™s the latest string to the clubâ€™s varied PR campaign. Itâ€™s clearly not enough to have players come out and say Pardew is â€œfantasticâ€ (nope) and that there are exciting times ahead, if you canâ€™t qualify those with something bold and potentially exciting. Otherwise the bluster is simply that and fans who are already cynical about those public statements will turn away entirely. Actions, as they say, speak a lot louder than words.
So why not throw your hat into the ring for a player who is unlikely to choose a club floundering at the bottom of the league? It gives ammunition to the pro-Pardew, pro-Ashley faction of the crowd â€“ â€œwell, look they know what problems they need to specifically addressâ€ â€“ Â and when it inevitably fails, you can just call it an unfortunate victory for bigger clubs and better financial pull. After all, we couldnâ€™t possibly compete with the financial giants of Spurs, Man Utd, Arsenal and Napoli.
Or Hull, apparently.
ByÂ Simon Gallagher,Â chief Newcastle United writer and editor