Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their side seeking to build upon their tenth place finish last time round.
Rafa Benitez’s men only returned to English football’s top-flight back in August having won the Championship title a few months earlier, yet the Magpies were flirting with a return to the second tier for much of the first half of the season. However, the North East giants put a fine run together post-Christmas to eventually finish tenth in the table, an impressive 11 points clear of the bottom three.
As such, there are many excited and expectant Newcastle fans in the Tavern at present, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent reports linking their club, as well as Leicester City and West Ham, with a move for Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro.
And with the Italian giants having reportedly placed a £17.5 million price-tag on the 25-year-old’s shoulders, Benitez’s Newcastle must seek to show genuine ambition by winning the race for the Italy international.
Ultimately, it has been 13 long years since the Magpies broke their transfer record to lure Michael Owen to St James’ Park from Real Madrid, with the North East heavyweights spending £16 million on the striker to underline their ambition at the time.
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However, despite prices becoming substantially inflated in the last few years, and several other sides smashing their transfer record, Magpies owner Mike Ashley simply hasn’t done that at St James’, much to the frustration of several of our resident Newcastle fans.
Yes, money doesn’t always equal success, and Newcastle did well last term in spending very little, but if the club are to move forward under Benitez, and perhaps return to their former glories, his ambition must be met this summer.
And moving for Stefano, and indeed beating two other top-flight sides with genuine ambitions of their own this summer in Leicester and West Ham to his signature, would surely show the sort of ambition both Benitez and the club’s supporters are craving.
The 25-year-old midfielder made the move to Juventus back in 2014 and has since gone on to play 90 times for the Italian giants, in which time he has helped them to four Serie A titles, as well as four Coppa Italia crowns.
And while he was a bit-part player under Massimiliano Allegri last term in their run to top spot in the league and indeed the quarter-finals of the Champions League, he still played five times in their European run and 12 times in the league to underline his qualities in the middle of the park.
And given how well Mario Lemina has adapted to English football following his move from Juve to Southampton last summer, Newcastle fans should be intrigued by the possibility of Stefano joining their club.
Thus, with a deal for the 25-year-old likely to cost a club transfer record £17.5 million, Newcastle must seek to show genuine ambition by beating the aforementioned Premier League duo to the Italian’s signature.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!