There’s news in the Star today that Newcastle are interested in signing Manchester City right-back Bacary Sagna when his contract at City at the end of this month and he becomes a free agent.
Rafa needs to bring in a couple of full-backs this summer to challenge DeAndre Yedlin on the right and local lad Paul Dummett on the left.
But whether he will go for older players like Bacary, who is 34, is a good question
But Bacary has a total of 266 Premier League appearances to his name so he knows all about England’s top league and Rafa wants PL experience brought into his squad this summer.
Certainly the advantage of signing a player like Bacary say for a couple of years, is that he is a free agent, but we wonder how much his wages are after he has been at Arsenal for seven years and City for three years?
The Star is reporting those wages are £85K/week, so if he were to join Newcastle we assume he would need to take a drop in wages.
With Crystal Palace and Southampton also reported to be interested, then Bacary has a very good chance to stay in the Premier League.
Once Rafa starts to bring his players in this summer (we assume that is imminently), we’ll see if he wants to sign players in their mid-thirties, but we are assuming that if he does there will be no resistance from owner Mike Ashley.
We are hoping the penny has finally dropped with Mike – and that he will stay out of the way and let Rafa do what he wants to do with the club with the able help of Managing Director Lee Charnley.
It seems that significant trust was built up between Rafa and Mike at their meeting a couple of days after the Championship season closed, with Benitez showing Mike in no uncertain way that he fully understands the financial side of football and that Rafa is himself a savvy business man.
Lee Charnley is very good at going out and negotiating deals for players and that seems to be one of his major responsibilities now working with Rafa: certainly the two of them work their socks off for the Newcastle cause.
Lee is also responsible, at the executive level to Ashley, for the day-to-day to running of the club, but of course he leaves all the football stuff to Sir Rafa Benitez.
Bacary Sagna would be a decent short-term tactical signing for Rafa, but his high wages may be a problem.
What do you think?