According to the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, Monaco boss Thierry Henry has given Antonio Barreca the green light to join Newcastle on loan – as long as we can agree personal terms with the player.
The story also confirms our loan bid for Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins, but state that a deal for the Portuguese international ‘seems far less certain at this stage’, with ‘other clubs’ also in the for 23-year-old.
Interestingly (and infuriatingly!), the piece also states that loan deals are being preferred to permanent deals as the club are ‘reluctant’ to spend money on a manager who’s refusing to sign a new contract. Newsflash Mike, he might sign a new deal IF you started spending!
Here’s a snippet from the Telegraph’s latest piece on potential deals for Barreca and Gelson Martins – with Rafa wanting both in ‘by the end of the week’:
‘Newcastle United are looking to sign two players on loan before the end of the week after bids were made for Monaco defender Antonio Barreca and Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins.
‘The deals also reflect the political situation at St James’ Park, with the club reluctant to sanction permanent deals because of Benitez’s refusal to sign a contract extension.
‘Sources have revealed the moves for Italy Under-21 international Barreca and Portugal international Martins have been welcomed by Benitez, as long as they do not collapse over personal terms and loan fees.
‘Significantly, both deals are expected to contain a clause that would enable Newcastle to sign the players permanently in the summer if Benitez stays on as manager and still wants them.
‘Barreca has struggled to make a good impression at Monaco following a £9m move from Torino last summer, making just seven starts. Manager Thierry Henry has sanctioned his departure and it is now up to Newcastle to agree terms with the player.
‘The arrival of Martins is potentially a coup for the Magpies, although it seems far less certain at this stage given there are other clubs interested in the 23 year-old.
‘Martins only moved to Spain from Sporting Lisbon at the start of the season, but while he has also struggled to hold down a place in the first team, he comes with huge pedigree and was seen by many as one of European football’s most exciting prospects this time last year.’
So, it sounds like Henry has sanctioned Barreca’s move to Tyneside (although that doesn’t say much about him given they’re in a relegation battle themselves and only signed him last summer for £9m!), with us just needing to agree personal terms to sign him.
Barreca would finally give Rafa another option at left-back, although it’s attacking flair that we lack most – and it seems a deal for Gelson Martins will only happen if we beat off competition.
So, one deal sounds promising, but the other sounds like it could easily get away from us – with us rarely faring well when there’s any other club competing to sign the same player.