As the end of the transfer window comes ever closer, Newcastle are reported to be closing in on a double deal for an Inter Milan duo. The first name has been banded around for a little while, Davide Santon, while the second is ex-Sunderland midfielder Sulley Muntari. A new left back is a necessity and Santon fits that bill, while Muntari would provide some strength in depth in the middle of the park following the departure of Joey Barton.
Along with Aly Cissokho and Erik Pieters, Newcastle have long been linked with Davide Santon. The 20-year-old doesn’t appear to be Newcastle’s first choice in the left back position, but as Alan Pardew alluded to earlier this week, he has given three or four names to the board in each position and then it’s left to them to do the business. It wouldn’t surprise me if Newcastle ended up with Santon either, as he appears to be the cheapest of the targets and would satisfy Mike Ashley’s cost-cutting measures.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Santon would cost £5 million and that a deal has already been agreed between the two clubs, but a loan deal has also been touted. Santon spent the second half of last season on loan at Cesena and Inter are thought to want to keep hold of the player and see him progress by playing first team football elsewhere. The 6ft 2in defender has already played 7 times for Italy since making his international debut in 2009, but the defender who can play on both sides of the back four has lost his way to some extent in recent years.
Santon would be well received at Newcastle, even if like most of Newcastle’s summer activity the move is a little bit underwhelming, but I’m not sure the same can be said about Sulley Muntari. Like Santon, Muntari also spent the second half of last season on loan, but he was a little bit closer to home, just down the road at Sunderland. At Sunderland and at Portsmouth before, Muntari has failed to set the Premier League alight and the experienced Ghanaian international is some way off his previous price tag of £10m.
That is reflected in the possible £4m move that is being reported, but I’d prefer Newcastle to concentrate their activity elsewhere. If the Magpies do have a £5m budget to take to Milan and spend on players, then that should be spent on Santon, an attacking left back who could help to fill a gaping hole at Newcastle. Muntari on the other hand would be nothing more than a squad player and Pardew has more pressing demands than that right now.
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