Newcastle United supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side edge past Crystal Palace 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday, in turn securing a fourth Premier League victory of the campaign.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the Eagles having drawn their last two league games against Liverpool and Southampton, but would have viewed the visit of the division’s bottom side as a great chance to get back to winning ways. And they did just that as Matt Ritchie’s corner was met by a fine header from midfielder Mikel Merino four minutes from time to seal a narrow victory for the Magpies, in turn propelling them up to seventh place in the table and to within two points of the top four.
And, unsurprisingly, many of our resident Newcastle fans have been toasting their side’s win in the Tavern this week, although those lining up at the bar are unlikely to be overly thrilled by a recent report from Correire dello Sport, which outlines some intriguing and perhaps frustrating information regarding reported target Geronimo Rulli.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper currently plays his trade at La Liga outfit Real Sociedad and has done so since the start of the year after ending a six-month spell at Manchester City, with whom he failed to make a senior appearance.
However, the Argentine was loaned out to the Spanish side at the start of last term and made that move permanent in January, and given that he kept ten clean sheets in 38 league matches last time out, it’s not surprising they moved to sign him up.
And it’s equally unsurprising to see Rulli attracting interest from Benitez’s Newcastle, what with the Magpies clearly on the lookout for goalkeeping reinforcements over the summer but to no avail, but the North East giants look set for a battle as recent reports suggest that Napoli are also keeping tabs on the 25-year-old.
As such, Benitez and the Newcastle hierarchy may find it extremely tough luring the shot-stopper to England over a possible move to Serie A’s second place side.
Landlord’s verdict: Much was made of Newcastle United’s struggles during the transfer window, what with several top targets failing to make the move to St James’ Park.
And it seemed that a new goalkeeper was one area manager Rafa Benitez was targeting, and that appears to remain the case given their recent reported interest in Real Sociedad’s Geronimo Rulli, an Argentine sensation who has been making great strides at the Spanish club in the last 12 months.
However, Italian giants Napoli, a side Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola heaped praise upon last week following their Champions League clash, are reportedly monitoring the 25-year-old as well, and given their status as a Champions League club and their current second place standing in Serie A, that may prove to be a more fruitful option for Rulli.
Thus, Benitez may well be left frustrated once again should they firm up their interest in the shot-stopper in the New Year.
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