Sam Allardyce is reported to be in Spain to negotiate his possible 8th signing of the summer for Newcastle.
Sam is off to meet and talk with Serbian defender Ivaca Dragutinovic about his plans at Newcastle and to discuss the offer the club are willing to make to the Sevilla defender.
But after the deal was looking goodÂ late last week – the Serbian is now on the fenceÂ and it will takeÂ all of Sam’s persuasive powers toÂ get the Serbian to Tyneside.Â
Dragutinovic and Allardcye
Ivaca is known to have followed Newcastle United andÂ knows all aboutÂ ex-captain and icon Alan Shearer.
This is what Ivaca said last week when it looked promising he may be on his way to Newcastle – because he said he wanted to come:
“This is the financial opportunity of my life and do not want to reject it.”
” I know Newcastle and Alan Shearer from his days with England.”
“I would like to play for Newcastle in the Premiership.”
When Chairman Mort met with ShearerÂ last week and asked him to do more in his role as world-wide club Ambassador â€“ we hope one of the tasks was to call Ivaca â€“ or even accompany Sam on his trip to convince Drago to join Newcastle.
SevillaÂ have signed Dragutinovic’s replacement in Colombian Aquivaldo Mosquera, who has arrived from Mexican champions Pachuca â€“ so all seems set for the deal to be completed.
At Newcastle Sam has brought in Rozehnal, Cacapa and Enrique to toughen up and stabilize a rickety defense. Drago (Ivaca’s nickname) could be the final player to ensure a rock solid rearguard for the first time in many years. Rozehnal and England Under-21 International Steven Taylor have already looked very solid when playing together.
Dragutinovic wouldÂ receive a huge pay rise at Newcastle but is unclear if that’s enough toÂ persuade him to move. From a playing perspective Ivaca has had great success in the two years he has been in Spain winning the UEFA CupÂ two yearsÂ running and the Super Cup last year. One of the determining factors for Ivaca will be European football since Newcastle cannot offer him thatÂ andÂ Sevilla can.
Ivaca spoke with Sky Sports yesterday and hinted at his change of mood:
“Not everything is about money,”
“In a few days, maybe on Wednesday or Thursday, we will make a decision, but I think that I am now closer to staying here.â€
Newcastle fans will like theÂ statement about the money but not the last sentance. A fee of around Â£2.7M has been agreed with Sevilla and now it’s Sam’s job to persuade Ivaca to make the move.
One advantage Sam has is he has rekindled careers of good players in their 30s by getting them super-fit and using their talents wisely. The prospect for 31 year-old Drago is that he could play another 4 years at Newcastle and become one of the vital cogs in a re-engineered Newcastle defense and a completely rejuvenated team.
Despite accepting Newcastle’s bid last week, Sevilla president JosÃ© MarÃa Del Nido and Manager Manager Juande Ramos have both held talks with Dragutinovic about an extension to his current deal at the club. We should know what happens with Drago within a couple of days. If Sam is not successful he will move on to other targets – but we have no idea who they may be.Â Â It will be interesting to follow the events to see if Sam can bring off this transfer – Drago certainly seems the type Sam wants – let’s hope he’s successful.
Some information on Ivaca we had published a couple of days ago.
Ivica DragutinoviÄ‡ was born November 13, 1975 in Prijepolje, Serbia, Yugoslavia and plays for Spanish La Liga side, Sevilla F.C. He is nicknamed Drago.
He began his career at Serbian side FK Borac ÄŒaÄak (50 appearances â€“ 2 goals) before heading to Belgium’s Jupiler League to join K.A.A. Gent (95 appearances â€“ 12 goals). He left Gent but stayed in Belgium, signing for Standard LiÃ¨ge in 2000 for whom he was a great success and played over 200 games for them and scored 8 goals. In the Summer of 2005 he moved to Sevilla FC for whom he has played 53 times scoring 2 goals.
DragutinoviÄ‡ has played 33 times for Serbia and Montenegro and was part of their Famous Four defense, which conceded only one goal during qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. The other members of the famous four were Goran Gavra of Dynamo Kiev, Manchester United’s Nemanja VidiÄ‡, and Mladen KrstajiÄ‡ of Schalke 04. Drago holds a Belgian passport, so is not included in the three non-EU player quota of La Liga.
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