Newcastle United have been linked with a transfer move for AS Roma defender Roger Ibanez.
What’s the news?
According to a recent report from Calciomercato (via Sport Witness), the Magpies have shown “concrete interest” in signing the centre-back this summer.
Would you like to see Newcastle sign Roger Ibanez this summer?
After originally joining Jose Mourinho’s side on loan from fellow Serie A club Atalanta in January 2020, the defender signed for Roma on a permanent basis last summer.
Overall, the 23-year-old has made 101 appearances for the Giallorossi across all competitions, chipping in with six goals and two assists along the way. This season saw the Brazilian make 34 appearances for Roma in Serie A, leaving only two other outfield players having played more minutes in the league, highlighting how important he is to the team.
In terms of what he offers at the back, he racked up the highest average for interceptions per game (1.8) and the second-highest average for clearances per game (2.8).
Labelled an “outstanding” player by journalist Josh Bunting on Twitter, Ibanez reportedly has a release clause of €80m (£69m).
Imagine him & Burn
Newcastle showed during the January transfer window how beneficial it can be to bring in a solid defensive figure and how much of an impact that can have on the season.
After signing Dan Burn from fellow Premier League side Brighton at the end of January, the Toon then went on to only lose five league games, having won just once before the winter market opened.
Despite making just 16 league appearances for his new club, the 30-year-old ended the season with a higher average of clearances per game (6.1) than any other Newcastle player. This is also the highest average out of all players in the Premier League to have started more than five league games this season.
Now that Eddie Howe has the chance to add a fairly young but very capable defender to his squad once again this summer, this will give the 44-year-old the chance to establish what could be a formidable duo at the back between Ibanez and Burn.
With the Tyneside club reportedly showing an interest in the Roma defender, they should now be thinking of capitalising on that interest and seeing if the Giallorossi would be willing to negotiate a deal for the player.
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