Roberto Firmino costing Newcastle in pursuit of Wolfsburg ace

Newcastle’s pursuit of a long-awaited new striker has hit a skid, as Wolfsburg have told them to increase their offer for the Dutchman Bas Dost.

According to the Newcastle Chronicle, the Bundesliga outfit have held talks with Dost’s agent and discovered that the frontman is quite happy to remain at the Volkswagen Arena, despite numerous links with a move away from the club.

Realising the player is quite serene in his surroundings means Wolfsburg have no need to sell. That is, of course, unless they can engineer a deal that sees them strike gold.

Wolfsburg’s sporting director, Klaus Allofs, is quoted in the Chronicle saying that figures aligned in any potential move for Dost, ranging between £7m and £8.5m, are unacceptable.

“I refer to Roberto Firmino’s example, and say they will have to get used to higher amounts if any club really wants to buy Dost,” Allofs concluded.

The recent deal that sent Hoffenheim forward Firmino to Liverpool, reportedly around the £29m mark after add ons, has changed the market in Germany.

Now, mid-level sides are holding out for big bucks when before they’d settle for less.

Wolfsburg, who finished as the Bundesliga’s runners up last term, are certainly not one of the division’s minnows. But with a number of their squad in high demand, they are learning lessons from Hoffenheim’s cash-hoarding example.

This is exactly what happened in England after a raft of young players like Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing got big moves between 2010 and 2012.

Now, it’s almost impossible to buy a talented Englishman for less than £20m, causing mid-table clubs to scout Europe for a fairer marketplace.

Germany was thought to be one such bazaar, but the Firmino deal has ended all that. Newcastle may need to locate a new bargain bucket to find a striker.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.