Signing Top Center Back Must Be A Priority In January

There are reports that 6’5″ Italian international center back Andrea Ranocchia is not happy at losing his place at Inter-Milan under new coach Roberto Mancini and that has alerted a number of clubs including Newcastle United to his possible availability.

The 27 year-old has made 20 appearances for Italy and since signing at Inter from Genoa in December of 2010 he has played a total of 160 times with nine goals.

Andrea Ranocchia

Andrea Ranocchia – Inter-Milan defender

Ranocchia was appointed captain of Inter at the start of last season, replacing the retired Javier Zanetti, and in June he agreed to extend his contract four more years until 2019.

Inter Milan legend, Javier Zanetti, had this to say about the top defender:

“Ranocchia? I feel sorry for Andrea, he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be back.”

“He has to prove his worth, he should feel like a captain. Everyone is a captain, and the group is the most important thing.”

It will depend what happens through the end of the year whether Ranocchia will be available in January or next summer, but he will cost big money because he’s an excellent defender and has a long contract at the Milan club.

Newcastle can balk at these transfer fees but if we don’t strengthen in January we will lose at least £135M next season alone if we are relegated.

So Newcastle need to look at the bigger picture and not be too thrifty – when it doesn’t make sense.

One of the weaknesses we still have at Newcastle is at center back and that must be a position we strengthen in January.

Ranocchia is now a possibility and another target Newcastle may well go after in January is Schalke 04 6’4″ center back Joel Matip who will become a free agent in the summer and Newcastle will be able to talk to the player in January.

If things don’t improve at Newcastle before the end of this year Newcastle must strengthen in January otherwise we could be in serious danger of being relegated.

That’s based on how poorly we have done in the first eight games of the season in all competitions.

Things can get better but right now if the Board of Directors are doing what they should be doing they will be lining up potential signings in early January.

Planning is what’s necessary now and then depending on how we are positioned at the end of the year should decide which specific players we go after in the January transfer window.

However, it would not be surprising if Newcastle attempt to sign British players who have ample experience of playing football in England and can have an immediate impact in January.

The number one priority this season has to be to stay in the Premier League.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.