Sam has overhauled the Newcastle defense during the summer bringing in Geremi, Rozehnal, Cacapa and Jose Enrique to play in the back four but it now appears Sam will use new captain Geremi in a midfield role.
We now need one more center-back and a right-back so let’s see who we think Sam’s after.
We think he’s very close to completing his defensive signings, at least for August, and we expect other players will arrive in January.
We think Abdoulaye Faye is coming, and either Neville or Belletti for right-back.
If we assume that Geremi will not play in defense then Sam has brought in three good defenders in Rozehnal, Cacapa and Enrique. All we need now for a new back four is a right-back â€“ which is out biggest need right now. It looks like for the defense, Sam wants one more center-back and a right-back.
We are very close to bringing in Abdoulaye Faye of Bolton and judging by the notes from Bolton fans it’s going to be a good signing for Newcastle. At â‚¤2M the price is also decent although reports suggest Sam wants to lower that price. The Bolton Evening News is reporting that it’s almost a certainty Faye will move to Newcastle and he was left out of the Bolton side that played at Fulham last night. Interest in Ivaca Dragutinovic of Sevilla has ended and interest will also end with Yepes of PSG, once Faye is signed. We think only one additional central defender is needed in August.
Sam said a few days ago that Newcastle will be well positioned to get Brazilian Edmilson in January from Barcelona. Sam is already talking about being after players he may not get in August but in January. It looks to us that he may have already agreed a deal with Edmilson for January – but of course Sam would never divulge that. Since Edmilson is out injured until November it would seem sensible to wait until January to ensure heâ€™s OK â€“ and that seems the right thing to do.
As far as right-back goes, two players have been mentioned. Allardyce is said to be confident he can persuade right-back Juliano Belletti of Barcelona to join us for around â‚¤3M â€“ which seems high â€“ but the Brazilian has class and experience and at 31 years old, is not that old for a Sam Allardyce signing.
The other player linked to us is Phil Neville, the Everton captain, who can play right back and is also very versatile – so we believe he would be the better buy between the two.
So expect Faye to be at Newcastle in the next day or two and then Belletti or Neville would be the betting choice to fill the right-back position, which is our weak link in an otherwise strong defense. It also has much more strength in depth than last season. Once we sign a right-back it would not surprise us if Steven Carr wants to leave Newcastle – he is in the last year of his contract this season.
Let’s know what you think on these potential moves â€“ comments always welcome.