Benitez After Top Center-Back For Newcastle

Rafa Benitez signed Kalidou Koulibaly for Napoli from Genk in the summer of 2014 and there is news today that he wants to sign the giant 6’2″ center-back for Newcastle United in the summer.

Benitez was at Napoli for two seasons until he left last year and was then appointed as the Real Madrid manager in June.

When he was released from that job in early January, he was subsequently appointed as the Newcastle United manager on March 11th.


Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli

Newcastle had been linked with Koulibaly all last year but we failed to sign a top center-back last summer and we have paid for that with  maybe our second relegation in seven years.

Newcastle were reported to have bid £19M for the player in early January, but that was turned down by the Italian club who said the 24 year was not for sale at that time.

The player was listed as 6’5″ tall in January but he seems to have lost 3″ since then.


As it turned out Newcastle were unable to strengthen their defense at all in January.

Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are all said to be interested in signing the Senegal International defender this summer.

Koulibaly was born and raised in France by Senegalese parents, and was eligible to play for both countries.

He played 11 times for the U-20 French youth side starting in 2011, but in early September last year he decided to play for Senegal and  made his debut in an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Namibia in the 2–0 win.

If Newcastle can survive relegation this season then we must have a decent chance of getting this player because of Benitez’ connections with Napoli.

Rafa will also know first hand how good this lad is and we will be getting a in a very good player.

Newcastle will also try to sign a left back in the summer to further strengthen their defense.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Aston Villa?

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Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • barkel

    May 5, 2016 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #1

    Hang on a minute, he’s linked with Barca, Bayern & us!? Have we gone back in time or whats going on?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 5, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #2

    He would be a top level centre half for us to get can also play left back as well

  • magscar

    May 5, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #3

    update on Villa protest.

    Sounds like this could be disruptive to game 🙁

  • Termijn

    May 5, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #4

    Probably depends on his relationship with Rafa and whether or not he’s guaranteed to start at any of those other clubs (maybe Man United probably not the others). I’ve heard quite a bit of praise for him recently so he’ll probably be highly sought after by more than that listed.


    May 5, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #5

    Shrinking giant? Hmm

    Also not sure on the Dummett new deal tbh to bless it’s to be a CB moving forward


    May 5, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #6

    Villa fans are just going to party during the match?

  • beermonkey

    May 5, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #7


    rafa seems to have our lot pretty focused if we can score a couple in the first half we should be ok
    not sure what happens if they have to abandon the game so lets hope it doesnt come to that

  • Termijn

    May 5, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #8

    Anyone think Everton could do a villa next season?
    If they were to lose Stones/Barkley/Lukaku similar to villa losing Vlaar/Delph/Benteke who knows what will happen. Sure they have much more quality in their squad than Villa do but they havent been great recently.

  • beermonkey

    May 5, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #9


    they will slide down if they keep martinez but wont go down
    if they sell that lot they will have alot of cash to spend and on top of that they have a knew invester


    May 5, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #10

    Only if Everton refuse to sack their waster manager mate but no I don’t see them failing that much

  • magscar

    May 5, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #11


    Balloons are Ok but beach balls? Recall that farce at Mackems when Pool fans released beach ball(s) and ball was deflected into their goal!

    Presumably could just lead to delay while pitch cleared – doesn’t usually help keep heads right so hope it is immaterial .

  • Termijn

    May 5, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #12

    Yeah that’s true, I dont really expect them to be as poor as Villa but stranger things have happened 😉 . Bear in mind Villa had quite a bit of cash as well, though followed our route and bought a bunch of untested Ligue 1 players among others. But yeah theyll probably be fine, especially if they sack Martinez

  • MadisonToon

    May 5, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #13

    Here is the first of the ‘Rafa signings’ – signings who wouldn’t be interested in our club with any other manager. In my lofty dreams, he is able to bring in a few players whose quality is much higher than a relegation-fodder squad.

    If Rafa signings do actually come through the door this summer, not only will we be able to thank him for keeping us up (obviously a big assumption right now but Rafa signings won’t happen if we don’t so that’s a moot point) and for creating an atmosphere that will attract the quality the fans want. No other manager that we were linked with would have done that – Moyes, Martinez, McClaren, etc.

    Gotta love the positive vibes around the club right now, even if our short-term goal is survival rather than what we would like it to be (top 8 as stated by NUFCat beginning of the year).


    May 5, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #14

    True but Villa had been in trouble for awhile

  • Mister Tuff

    May 5, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #15

    Villa Protest looks a bit of a damp squib. Ballons and beach balls.
    Beach balls could cause a problem a delaying the game as they’ll surely land on the pitch.
    Certainly throwing items -anything – within the ground -would be contrary to Ground Regulations and definitely the Football Offences Act 1991. So anybody seen doing it would/should be ejected and or nicked.
    Beachballs could be cleared off the pitch no problem – presuming there is not an unlimited supply. so I can only see this as causing a temporary stoppage at worst and not leading to the game being abandoned.

  • Mister Tuff

    May 5, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #16

    magscar – see you have posted as well – agree with your assessment.

  • magscar

    May 5, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Mister Tuff

    Hoping limited impact for us 🙂

  • MadisonToon

    May 5, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #18

    RE: Villa protest

    Thankfully it’s relatively far into the match and, if things go well, the result will be done and dusted by then. Another game where it’s critical we start well – we know what happens if we don’t (e.g. Southampton). Really looking forward to this one, seems to be a common theme for me lately 🙂

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 5, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #19

    Really don’t see the point about speculating on the Summer transfer window until we know for definite what league we are in and if Rafa is still manager.

    Not being pessimistic just a realist.


    May 5, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #21

    Spot on Essex — lets concentrate on nothing but staying up and if we do then we can start to look forward. Thinking we are going to survive now, only just though with narrow wins. Cant see us spanking anyone, even Villa. Rafa will play more to contain than attack but at least he has a plan


    May 5, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #22

    Glad Dummett say been signed up. not the best footballer but a solid defender. better than Janmatt, who looks good going forward but cant do his job. When you are a top team you can afford attacking wing backs.. we need defenders. Anita has been brilliant with Townsend, who couldn’t have impressed me more. Works so hard for 90 minutes

  • Bambams

    May 5, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #23

    I think the only thing keeping me sane lately is this blog.

    So worried about this Villa match yet if we had to pick an away game to win….I think we would all pick Villa.

    Rafa does make a huge difference, no doubt at all about that.

  • U.S Magpie

    May 5, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #24

    Tons of talk about winning at Villa and I love that. But lets hope Man U and Chelsea turn up this weekend and beat Sunderland and Norwich. This is going to be another weekend where Man U and Chelsea get another 52000 plus fans cheering them on. I certainly was cheering on Chelsea the other day against spurs, not just for Leicester but now they have nothing left to win in relation to the league.

  • barkel

    May 5, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #25

    I think we need a helping hand from Everton & Watford too. The main thing is we have to win our games tho, 6 points from the last two games is essential

  • Mister Tuff

    May 5, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Man U should whoop Norwich. Trickier one is the Sunderland v Chelsea game.
    As has just been stated league wise Chelsea have nothing to play for personal pride perhaps. Hazard might be key. The speed of reaction when he scored that goal the other night was incredible.

  • lesh

    May 5, 2016 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #27

    Mr Tuff

    Wasn’t it the case that apart from London pride, Chelsea had nowt to play for when they played Spurs the other day?

    Somehow, I can’t see Hiddink letting them relax for the last couple of games – he’ll have his own pride and reputation to think about.

    But, Allardyce will play their last couple of games with a view to not losing and that’s all the more reason that Benitez must go all out to beat Villa to put the pressure on both Norwich and Sunlun and then ensure we don’t lose to Spurs who I think might be a tad wary about playing rough stuff given the nine cards they picked up against Chelsea – the ref’ll be more than aware of their behaviour and thus watching them closely.

    I really think we’ve a good chance of survival.

  • lesh

    May 5, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #28


    Let’s just hope the refs are mindful of Sunlun’s propensity to get penalties – by fair means or foul. Defoe should be watched very carefully by match officials.

  • Mister Tuff

    May 5, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #29

    Lesh – London Pride – is that not a gay organisation or event. I’m sorry but I’m not up to date in this particular area. I will therefore bow to your knowledge on these matters. Big boy!.


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