According to the Mirror, a deal to sign Croatian international Milan Badelj has now emerged as an ‘option’ for Rafa Benitez – with the 29-year old set to be available on a free this summer.
The 6ft 1′ midfielder played a part in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final this summer, bagging one goal and an assist in three appearances in Russia.
He now looks set to move on at club level, with him out of contract at Fiorentina after four years at the club – and the Mirror claim that Rafa Benitez has been alerted by his ‘free transfer status’ (which is no surprise given the total lack of funds said to be available at his disposal).
Here’s a snippet from the piece, confirming Rafa’s interest in Badelj:
‘One option open to Benitez is World Cup runner-up Milan Badelj.
‘The 29-year-old Croatia midfielder is out of contract after four years with Fiorentina with several Premier League clubs including Newcastle being alerted to his free transfer status.’
I’m presuming he would only be pursued if an unsettled Hayden was sold, with another central midfielder seeming low down on our list of priorities right now, however this could be a very shrewd signing in the circumstances.
The worry, however, is that ‘several’ other Premier League clubs are also believed to be keen – and we’d almost certainly miss out if it came down to a bidding war of who can offer him the biggest pay packet.
Here’s him in action:
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