Chelsea and Newcastle are reported to be in a battle for the signature of Fabio Cannavaro – after the Italian star center back was told he was surplus to requirements at Real Madrid.
New Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster has brought in defenders Pepe from Porto for Â£19M and Christoph Metzelder on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund and Fabio has been told he can leave.
The 33-year-old (he’s 34 in September) has been linked with a move back to former club Juventus but new boss Claudio Ranieri has refuted those suggestions. However, it’s unusual for top Italian stars to leave their own country as witnessed by last year’s Italian world cup squad – where every single player played in the Italian league.
Newcastle have reportedly approached Cannavaro (we have no idea if this is true) but Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is apparently keen on the Italian and of course can offer him Champions League football â€“ if Fabio can make it into the Chelsea side.
Cannavaro of course joined Real Madrid last summer for Â£13.5M after Juventus were demoted – following the match-fixing scandal in Italy – and after his fantastic play for eventual champions Italy in the 2006 world cup. He is the reigning European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year.
He played 31 times for Real last season and 74 times for Juventus from 2004-2006 scoring 6 goals. Before that he played 51 times for Inter-Milan during his two year stay and scored 3 goals. From 1995-2002 Fabio played 212 times for Parma with 5 goals – and from 1992-1995 he played 68 times for Napoli scoring 2 goals. In total Cannavaro has played 435 first class games and scored 15 goals. He is captain of Italy and has appeared 108 times for the national side scoring 1 goal.
Cannavaro apparently failed to have the impact expected at Real last season. We would expect Cannavaro to return to Italy – although we’re not sure if there is any real interest from Newcastle or Chelsea for the Italian.
Fabio certainly fits the type of player Sam Allardyce has persuaded to play for him in the past. Newcastle already have Taylor and Rozehnal for center back â€“ with Brazilian Edmilson probably on his way in January. We also have Peter Ramage coming through and 19 year old youngsters Huntington and Edgar in the center-back position. So for the long term it may be that Sam cannot use Cannavaro effectively – even if he wanted to come to Newcastle. But don’t be surprised if Sam still goes after Fabio – who is still world class after all.
That’s our view on this story – what do you think? – your comments always appreciated.