Newcastle United had agreed a loan deal for Antonio Barreca with Monaco but still sought out four other full backs to fill the void in the squad before putting pen to paper for the Italian, according to the Chronicle.
The newspaper claim on their website that the Magpies had a move in place for the out of favour full back, which is said to have delighted Monaco due to his lack of action, but actively pursued at least four other signings, including Jordan Lukaku, before securing the deal.
The surprise revelation states that Newcastle enquired for three other full backs after missing out on the Belgian before settling for Barreca.
What a way to make a player feel wanted at St James’ Park. This report reveals that Barreca was not only not Rafael Benitez’s top choice but not his second, third or fourth option either. Fans getting excited over the potential of an attacking natural full back on the left – Paul Dummett very much a defender and Matt Ritchie a make shift wing back – should not be expecting too much from the Italian, who seems to have been brought in as a necessary squad addition rather than someone who is going to have an actual influence on the fortunes of the first team. The fact he was nowhere to be seen for the draw against Wolves, DeAndre Yedlin and Ritchie starting with the much criticised Javier Manquillo on the bench, tells you all you need to know about where the new arrival stands in the St James’ Park rankings. If anything, his arrival tells you everything that is wrong with the club under Mike Ashley, but at least Benitez does have another body through the door.