Newcastle Transfer Update on Andrea Barzagli

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is reportedly considering several new defenders – having recently said he didn’t think Argentinian Gabriele Hienze would come to Newcastle – and he was not interested in Frenchman Franck Queuedrue.

Sam was said to be interested in pursuing other targets and the Evening Chronicle reports that Sam might just test Palermo with a bid for Andrea Barzagli their 26 year-old 6’1″ center-back. Barzagli is thought to be worth around £11M.

Let’s take a look at Andrea’s playing career and the chances that he may end up at Newcastle.


Andrea Barzagli

Andrea Barzagli was born May 8, 1981 in Fiesole, Italy and currently plays for Serie A side Palermo. He is highly regarded in his homeland and his first club was Rondinella Firenze – whom he joined in 1998. He has since played for Pistoiese, Ascoli and Chievo, before being signed by Palermo in the summer of 2004.

He has 13 caps for the full Italian side. During last year’s World Cup he was a starter for the quarter-final against Ukraine – after an injury to Alessandro Nesta and the suspension of Marco Materazzi – who were the starting center-backs for Italy. Materazzi is the unfortunate player who was head-butted by Zidane during the World Cup final last summer.

Barzagli also won a bronze medal with the Italian Olympic team in 2004 and was a consistent member of the Italian Youth sides playing 8 times for the Italian Under-20 team and 15 times for the Italian Under-21 side.

Last season there was constant speculation in Italy about his future – with Juventus tipped to sign him either during the January transfer window or at the end of the season. So far he is still at Parma and despite Barzagli’s insistence he is happy at Palermo – both newly promoted Juventus and Newcastle are said to be monitoring his situation. His plea to stay at Palermo was thought to be designed to appease the often hostile Sicilian club’s supporters (the mafia?).

The player talked last weekend about his future:

“I can say that barring any shock developments, I will stay at Palermo.”

“Having said that, with at least another 10 years of my career left, I need to look at all aspects, including the economic one.”

“In the past, only Juventus were truly interested in me, but the coach preferred to look towards other options.”

Palermo Sporting Director Rino Foschi talked last week about Andrea:

“Andrea Barzagli seems willing to leave Palermo.”

“After all, it’s better to have someone in your squad who is dedicated rather than with his mind focused on other things.”

“He’s been on the transfer market for a while now. However, it’s his decision to leave the club.”

“There are players who join Palermo and shine, and afterwards when they get a spot among the Azzurri, they want to plump for a stint in a bigger club.”

“Barzagli is one of such players.”

Fabio Cannavaro, also rumored to be on Newcastle’s radar screen – but denied by Sam last night – is a big fan of Barzagli and has tipped him to become the next great Italian defender. However, as we’ve pointed out in the past, it’s unusual for Italian footballers to leave their homeland.

Sam Allardcye has already said he is interested in Barzagli:

“He’s a very good player but it’s whether that money (£11M) could be spent better on someone with Premiership experience,”

“Barzagli’s a top player but a top player with Premiership experience is more important to us.”

“We’ve already got David (Rozehnal) in and if I put him in with someone else from another country, plus Steven Taylor and Stephen Carr, if he stays fit, there isn’t a lot of Premiership experience there.”

“You could have difficulties in the early part of the season.”

From this statement it seems that Sam would prefer a player with more proven Premiership experience, which may rule out the Italian. It does seem a bit of a risk to go after Barzagli for £11M – when our defensive squad seems so short on experience.

Let’s know what you think about Barzagli – comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • Anon13

    Jul 17, 2007 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #1

    Barzagli is a quality player, and is a potential world beater, but Big Sam is right in prioritising experience… for the moment. I’d like to think if someone else were to bid for Barzagli we’d stump up the cash and rotate him with Rozenhal and still get in an experienced Prem player.

    At least we have a manager who thinks logically about his signings and thoroughly considers his moves in the transfer market these days.

  • Greg B

    Jul 17, 2007 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #2

    Brilliant, even if Sam wasnt considering Barzagli the press speculation may just persuade him to have a look.
    Barzagli is, in my opinion, one of the best central defenders in Europe and the fact that he may leave Palermo should prompt Allardyce to do all he can to get his signature, before Chelsea or one of the other big European teams does.
    Obviously Sam may not this Barzagli’s style suits his Newcastle team but I’d be very surprised. £11mil sounds alot of money but if you want the best you have to pay big money to get them. I reckon a bid in the region of £8mil would probably be enough to get the ball rolling.
    I really hope we get this particular player, in fact I would be happier with Barzagli signing than if we managed to get Deco or Gudjohnson!

  • Josh

    Jul 17, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #3

    I think it would be a GREAT signing by the looks of it he is going to be a regualr international CB and i think he would adjust quick enough in the premiership. It is a bit of a risk but it would be better to get him than have no one which is the direction it looks to be heading. and i think he is only going to increase in value. I hope they get him!!

  • Greg B

    Jul 17, 2007 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #4

    By the way, Sam’s comments regarding Barzagli’s Prem experience could be taken at face value, however I would like to speculate that maybe he is distancing himself so as not to get tangled in a bidding war for a player who has obviously got interest from other top clubs.
    Top players will perform well in any league in most cases, obviously different players take longer to adjust but I would put Barzagli in the same category as Carvalho, Vidic and Agger who didnt take long to adjust at all. Its good to know Sam isnt just going gung ho and buying players based on their reputations, a bit like Chelsea did with Boulahrouz.
    If I was the manager I would do whatever I could to get Barzagli, however i am not and have faith in Sam’s judgement, if he dosent think he would fit in I will accept that and hope Sam does get defensive players who do fit in for Newcastle.

  • JB

    Jul 17, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #5

    It seems to me we’d be better trying to pusue Heinze. A strong left back with proven Premiership experience. He would be a better priority. I know what Sam said, but that only served to make an informal enquiry with subservient flattery.

    C’mon Heinze, you know the future’s very rosy for NUFC.

  • Al Robson

    Jul 17, 2007 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #6

    Materazzi wasn’t at all unfortunate, he made a disgusting rascist remark about Zidane’s family

  • Beastie

    Jul 17, 2007 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #7

    ave been sayin to everyone the lads sam has signed since he come in have been spot on! all apart from rozenahal have experience in the league! but rozenahal has played over 20 times for the chechz so he is no mug! at least he aint goin out n buyin muppets like boumsong wastin the clubs new money! ad love us to get cannavro would be great for a year or 2 but dunno if he would come, the right bk from valencia is jus wat we need could get him for 4million called miguel!

  • Gateshead Glenn

    Jul 17, 2007 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #8

    Interesting article, Ed. I hadn’t heard of Barzagli before and don’t remember him from our UEFA Cup tie last season. Sam obviously rates him but is prioritising defenders with EPL experience for the time being, which is fine as long as we get a couple in soon!

    P.S. I don’t like your description of Materazzi as being the ‘unfortunate player’ who was head-butted by ZZ. I remember his antics against us for Inter, getting Bellamy sent-off, so I’ve absolutely no sympathy for him. I wish ZZ had done a proper job on him!

  • Dimitri

    Jul 17, 2007 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #9

    I just wish we would sign someone already. I am getting impatient. League starts in 3 weeks… we need some defenders… What is the hold up… I trust Sam with his decisions, but lets get on… It seems it is the new board slowing things down. Understandibly, they are assessing the business to make sure they will reduce the debt and turn it back into a profit making club. But we are 3/4 players shy compared to last season’s total squad and we were even down to the bare bones then… We need players….

    aaaaaaaaaaaaargghhh getting impatient… Lets get Canavaro, Barzagli, Hyppia, and a LB…. and let the good times roll… There is not way you can tell me that Italian defenders like Barzagli and Canavaro would be a flop in the premiership (italian defenders are the best in the world in my opinion)..

  • Al Robson

    Jul 17, 2007 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #10

    By the way Ed, don’t take my previous comment as offence to your article, I visit this site every day lookin for toon updates.

    keep em comin

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 17, 2007 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #11

    Al – no problem – thanks.

  • Craig F

    Jul 17, 2007 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #12

    Hey Barzagli would be a great buy, i’ve seen him a few times during his career and he looks the business.

    Off the topic I know but I notice on Bolton and Everton are linked with Edu Dracena of Fenerbahce. They reckon he’s “been linked with the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid in the past and he is regarded as one of the best central defenders around” Now its probably bull as normal with most of these stories but I wonder why we aren’t linked with him, I suppose it shows our standing at the min – hopefully that’ll change this season!

  • Cockney Magpie

    Jul 17, 2007 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #13

    im sure every1 already knows but just incase you dont. We beat hartlepool 3-1 Ameobi(2), Owen

  • Darren

    Jul 17, 2007 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #14

    Barton looked great too, Rozenhal looked composed and young Troisi stood out as well.

    Nice start to our pre-season (i know its only Hartlepool though!)

  • michael

    Jul 17, 2007 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #15

    This internal review is holding up everything.
    Truth is, currently whilst we may see one or two before the end of August the club is likely to be much more proactive in Janurary. I could be wrong of course, if this review finishes by the end of the week Sams extensive scouting network will probably see the 3 defenders required + maybe the galactico (That despite what we say, we secretly all want).
    I also wouldn’t bet against some youngsters arriving too. When Allardyce was at Bolton he did sign a large number of players on short term contracts. But he won’t implement this philosophy until he stabilises the sinking ship (Over the last 6 games of last season we finished bottom!)
    How good did JB look against Hartlepool by the way?

  • The Big P

    Jul 17, 2007 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #16


    Nuff Said


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