Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing a January move for Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto, with the Spaniard getting closer to an exit after a fallout with Maurizio Sarri.
According to CalcioMercato, Newcastle United are keeping tabs on the situation developing with Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto as they look to strengthen their midfield ranks.
The transitional phase is well-underway at Newcastle following their Saudi-led takeover last month. Eddie Howe has been appointed as the new Magpies’ head coach assigned to get them out of the precarious relegation situation. And with the transfer window on the horizon, the Newcastle hierarchy are already planning to back their new manager in the market.
The report adds that Newcastle may turn to exploit the vulnerable Italian market. The Magpies are keeping a close track on developments with two players in particular: Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, whose contract with Inter is expiring at the end of the season. There is also a surprise name of Lazio’s Luis Alberto.
Alberto, interestingly, had a brief spell on English shores with Liverpool, but that was forgetful for the Spaniard as he failed to make an impression in a pretty miserable tenure at Anfield. Nevertheless, Alberto signed for Lazio in 2016 and has been a revelation at Stadio Olimpico ever since.
In total, Alberto has made 191 appearances for the Biancocelesti, scoring 37 goals while assisting a further 52 times. Regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in Serie A, he was a key component under former Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi. However, the Spaniard has had a shaky start to life under new coach Maurizio Sarri, finding himself on the bench for several games in a row.
Although the 29-year-old seems to have finally found the rhythm in Sarri’s 4-3-3 system, the fractious relationship means the single-capped Spanish international is looking increasingly likely to leave the Biancocelesti in the upcoming transfer window. Leicester City are apparently keen on reuniting Alberto with Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers while there is also rumoured interests from Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
Newcastle’s interest in Luis Alberto makes a world of sense. The Magpies have one of the most unbalanced squads in the Premier League. They have some good attacking assets in Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, but they lack a midfielder who can link their defensive transitions into attacks.
Alberto will provide just that presence from the middle of the park. A prime playmaker with exceptional technical and passing ability, he is as dangerous while driving at opposition with his close control and dribbling. He is also a graceful finisher who is incredibly potent lurking just around the edge of the box. The 29-year-old’s ability to drop deep and spring up lightning turnovers can make the Magpies a fluid counter-attacking unit.
Alberto would be a bit of a coup and statement signing for the Magpies. However, with him contracted until June 2025, Lazio will likely demand a hefty transfer fee for their prized asset, valued at €40 million, as per Transfermarkt. Only time will tell whether the Tyneside-based outfit manages to land Luis Alberto or move to other alternatives this January.