According to Gianluca Dimarzio, Newcastle are targeting Monaco’s Antonio Barreca in a bid to solve their left-back problem, as Rafa Benitez looks to address some weak areas in his squad.
The Magpies are eyeing a move for Barreca this month, likely due to the lack of options beyond Paul Dummett available to Benitez.
He got off to a flying start for Monaco after joining from Torino in the summer but has since fallen down the pecking order as Thierry Henry shuffles the pack in an attempt to battle out of trouble, and Newcastle could offer the Italian an escape route.
Benitez has been forced to play a back five often this season due to the lack of left-sided defenders in the ranks, but Newcastle would be getting a quality full-back should they sign Barreca – it could, also, be the signing that needs to be made in order to rejuvenate Kenedy.
Firstly, Barreca has chalked up two assists in nine appearances this campaign according to Transfermarkt, so he can clearly be an asset on the front foot as well as at the back and, at 23 years old, he has plenty of room for improvement.
The 13-cap international is blessed with pace and that will be a huge factor for Newcastle, who lack in that department beyond DeAndre Yedlin and Kenedy – the latter of which has been dropped from the squad in recent weeks, despite his undoubted talent.
The Brazilian is full of flair but can impact his chances in the first team with his poor attitude – the Chelsea loanee is never at his best when deployed as a wing-back and surely prefers the freedom of being a forward. That could be available to him once again if the St. James’ Park outfit seal a deal for Barreca.
If Barreca becomes a Magpie, we could finally see the best from Kenedy in more advanced positions, during what has thus far been a drab season for the 22-year-old.