As the transfer deadline approaches there are strong overtones to suggest that both Newcastle and Sunderland have struggled to land players thay have targetted as both Alan Pardew and Steve Bruce look to strengthen their teams.
Newcastle have made a late bid for defender Liam Ridgwell – and the club is waiting on a decision from Birmingham City. Ridgewell, also a reported target of West Ham United, is understood to be open to a move away from St Andrew’s.
While Newcastle manager Alan Pardew’s No1 target is a striker – the club has had a bid accepted for FC Twente’s Bryan Ruiz – but the later couldn't agree terms and now looks favourite to sign for Fulham - Newcastle are also looking at bringing in defensive cover.
Birmingham manager Chris Hughton is reportedly keen on United striker Nile Ranger, and the 20-year-old – who is out of favour at St James’s Park – could yet be part of any deal. Goalkeeper Steve Harper, another Hughton favourite when at St James Park has also been linked with Birmingham.
Sunderland have made a last ditch loan bid for Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner but it is understood the Arsenal man does not fancy the North East and the deal look set to fail. Bruce moved for Bendtner after Peter Crouch rejected Sunderland in favour of Stoke City, which left manager Steve Bruce to turn his attention to the Danish forward.
Bruce has made no secret of his desire to sign a striker after the Black Cats scored only one goal in their opening four games. Asimoah Giyan, contrary to rumour is staying put, but one player on the move south is Anton Ferdinand. The defender joined QPR earlier today.
When the dust settles, we may well find Newcastle and Sunderland have not achieved the sigings they had aimed for.