Newcastle United have reportedly set their sights on £33 million double swoop for Hellas Verona duo Giovanni Simeone and Antonin Barak in January.
According to the print edition of L’Arena (via TuttoHellasVerona), Newcastle United are interested in signing both striker Giovanni Simeone and midfielder Antonin Barak from Hellas Verona, with the Serie A outfit open to selling the pair for a combined fee of around £33 million.
Newcastle have failed to register a single win in the Premier League since the start of the season and presently sit 19th in the table, equal on points with bottom-placed Norwich City. The Magpies are clearly in the relegation muddle, and with them being five points from safety, the new owners expect a major turnaround under the guidance of newly-appointed manager Eddie Howe.
Meanwhile, the Toon hierarchy are working behind the scenes to identify areas in the squad that need to be strengthened as they look to run an effective recruitment drive in the winter transfer market. They have recently been linked with big-money signings of Porto’s Luis Diaz and Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Given Newcastle’s precarious league position, these rumours appear impractical; however, a more realistic approach could be signing Hellas Verona’s in-form duo of Giovanni Simeone and Antonin Barak. As per reports, the Magpies could prioritise the double signing of the pair at the turn of the year.
Both of the players mentioned above are having really good campaigns and have been the shining lights for the Serie A outfit this term. Simeone, the son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego, has been prolific in front of goal this campaign, only next to Ciro Immobile in Serie A goal-scoring charts with nine goals from 11 appearances.
The Argentine forward is in a red-hot scoring run recently, netting a combined seven goals for Gialloblu in the last four games, including in Verona’s high-profile victories over Lazio, Juventus and a draw against Napoli. The talented striker is currently on loan from Cagliari, but Hellas Verona are keen to exercise the €12 million option to make the deal permanent, as they look to make a quick buck from the sale of their star striker.
With Callum Wilson injury-prone and Dwight Gayle unfavoured, the Toon are a bit light in the striking department and need reinforcements. Thus, Giovanni Simeone could prove to be a decent addition. He would not only provide competition for places, but his tenacious style of play means he can also work well in a two-man strike force alongside Wilson.
The Magpies are also in the running for another Hellas Verona ace in midfield playmaker Antonin Barak. The Czech Republic international has had a steady progression since joining Verona in 2020. Having established himself as the chief creator for Gli Scaligeri, he is enjoying another impressive campaign at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, contributing with 4 goals and 2 assists from 12 games so far this season.
Midfield is another weak link in the Magpies squad, and signing a versatile midfielder in Antonin Barak would be a shrewd piece of business. Unlike Simeone, Barak is fully owned and is valued in the region of €25 million (£21.4 million) by Hellas Verona. What now remains to be seen is whether Newcastle do make a formal approach for any of the transfer targets mentioned above or turn to alternative options.