An ex-Real Madrid man with experience of the Champions League as well as winning a World Cup? Chances are Arbeloa isn’t the one that immediately comes to mind when those accolades are mentioned, but the free agent has recently been linked with a move to the north east.
Able to play on both sides of defence, and having already played under Rafa at both Liverpool and Madrid (albeit briefly at the latter), he’ll arrive as a perfect replacement for Janmaat who seems odds on to depart during the summer. Like Berbatov he’ll provide a level of experience desperately needed at the club – it just depends on whether he has any better offers.
Likelihood: Very possible, given the Spanish connection and the Rafa links. Plus he’s free.