Newcastle United have been told they will need to pay ‘silly money’ to prise striker Luuk de Jong away from FC Twente.
The assertion, made by Twente boss Steve McClaren comes as a delegation of Toon officials including NUFC Managing Director Derek Llambias and Club Secretary Lee Charnley arrived in Enschede to hold crunch talks with the Eredivisie club.
The Magpies have already had a €10 million bid rejected for the 21-year old Dutch International – but are willing to increase their bid to €12.5 million with the aim of concluding the deal before Twente play their Europa League qualifier next Thursday.
However, Steve McClaren and FC Twente are happy to keep de Jong at De Grolsch Veste for another season unless Toon can pay in the region of €15 million.
At a press conference earlier today, McClaren he laughed off Newcastle’s initial €10 million bid, adding that a number of clubs are interested in de Jong, but the player is not ready for a move to the Premier League.
“The club knows how I feel about Luuk [de Jong]. He will remains with us unless stupid money is offered.”
“He has only been playing as our lead striker (number 9) since the end of last season.
“He must have at least one full season as a striker for us before he can move to another club.”
The striker himself is believed to be keen on a move away from Twente and is considering Newcastle’s offer. Toon officials are hopeful of agreeing a fee by early next week to eliminate any risk of the player being cup-tied for their Europa League campaign.
De Jong was the joint second-highest scorer in the Eredivisie last season with 25 goals.