As Joey Barton agrees to depart St. James’ Park for QPR, Newcastle United fans will be given a timely boost with a double swoop for Inter Milan pair Sulley Muntari and Davide Santon. Muntari is available for around £5m whereas highly-rated Santon is expecting to fetch around £8m.
Following the departures of Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton, Newcastle’s midfield desperately needs strengthening. Several players would be preferable. It is unlikely that fans will be satisfied however with a player who failed to secure a permanent switch to rivals Sunderland where he spent the second half of last season on loan.
Having said this, Muntari demonstrated his quality whilst at Portsmouth, playing a crucial role in their successful 2008 FA Cup campaign leading Jose Mourinho to pay £14m for his signature. Desperate to get his career back on track, Muntari has resigned to leaving the San Siro having been frozen out of the team.
Santon is another playing looking to revive his career having been sent out on loan to Cesena last season. Despite a promising breakthrough with Inter that led many commentators to compare Santon first to Fabio Grosso and then Paolo Maldini, Santon has been given little opportunity with Inter.
His ability to play at both left and right back makes him an attractive prospect for Alan Pardew who neesd to both replace Jose Enrique and strengthen the defensive unit as a whole.
A fee of £10m had been touted for this one, however, it does not take a genius to surmise that Mike Ashley would not pay this for a 20-year old. Despite having 7 Italy caps already to his name, it is likely even the £8m fee suggested will be unpalatable to Ashley.