Newcastle United are being linked with a move for Sassuolo defender Gianmarco Ferrari who was away on a season-long loan with Sampdoria and finished 10th in the Serie A. The defender was a regular feature at the back for Sampdoria as he made 31 appearances in all competitions and even managed to score two goals. According to reports, Rafael Benitez has shown an interest in the Italian defender and he could be signed by the Toon if they manage to sell Chancel Mbemba.
The Magpies have certainly punched above their weight in the just-concluded campaign by finishing 10th. Many were expecting them to be in a relegation scrap but Benitez’s side certainly surprised quite a few of their critics. However, they will be looking to continue their climb in English football and for that, they will need to bring in reinforcements in the summer transfer window.
Ferrari will most likely be a backup option for Benitez next term as he has the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark at his disposal. Lejeune and Lascelles have been the preferred centre-back pairing and both of them have done well at St.James’ Park.
On the back of such performances, Lascelles won Newcastle’s player of the season award and had an outside chance of being picked for the England national squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After securing a move to the Premier League, Fulham are also interested in signing the defender. Sampdoria too will be keen to have him as he has done well for them in the previous campaign. However, they have been put off by the defender’s £11.2m buyout price.
It is clear that Ferrari will come in more as a backup option and Newcastle United will also be hesitant about paying the quoted amount for the defender. They will certainly like to have him at a cheaper price but such is today’s market that £10m odd for a 26-year-old will be called justifiable.
Benitez has built this Magpies team on the back of strong defensive performances. They are extremely disciplined and hard to break down and the same will be expected out of Ferrari. It will be interesting to see whether he will be able to adapt his game to English football as he has no prior experience of playing outside of Italy. Only time will tell whether the Italian defender will be able to tread successfully in the untested waters of the Premier League.