Newcastle floated £40m fee for Joe Gomez despite Shearer criticism

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Newcastle could be forced to pay £40million for Liverpool defender Joe Gomez as Magpies boss Eddie Howe looks to bolster his team’s defence in the summer. Gomez has endured a miserable campaign with the Reds and was criticised by Newcastle hero Alan Shearer following his shocking display in his side’s 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 showdown with the Spanish giants.

On Wednesday, The Boot Room reported that journalist Jacque Talbot had floated a figure of £40m for Gomez. And it remains to be seen whether the Magpies would even contemplate stumping up that sort of cash for a player who has struggled to hold down a place in Liverpool’s leaky defence this season.

Last month, Gomez played 73 minutes of the Reds’ encounter with Real Madrid at Anfield. But the 25-year-old was embarrassed time and time again as Real overcame an early two-goal deficit to score five unanswered goals.

“Joe Gomez makes too many mistakes,” ranted Shearer as he summarised the game for 5 Live. “Virgil van Dijk does not look comfortable when he’s alongside him. You always feel [they] are going to give something away when Gomez is playing. They were hopeless at the back – they’re not very good at the back and they don’t have the protection they used to have.

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“When you allow a defender (Eder Militao) who has come up from a set-piece a free header from four, five yards out with no one near him so soon after half-time, when your goalkeeper makes a mistake like he did, when Gomez doesn’t get tight to Vinicius Jr for that first goal – all these things add up.

“You can’t do that against any player, let alone world-class players like the ones in this Real Madrid team. When you play at the highest level you get punished and that’s exactly what happened tonight. The defenders aren’t quick enough on the turn – the defenders are not picking players up.”

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Gomez was dropped for the second leg of the Champions League tie as Ibrahima Konate started at the Bernabeu Stadium. But the Reds were unable to overcome their disadvantage as Real won 1-0 on their home patch to secure a 6-2 aggregate victory and book their place in the quarter-finals.

Gomez still has four years remaining on his contract at Anfield after putting pen-to-paper on a new deal last summer. And with better deals likely to be had ahead of next season, Howe will need to think long and hard about how desperate he is to take the centre-back to St James’ Park.

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