Newcastle United and West Ham United will have to stump out a sum of at least €20 million to sign Hellas Verona midfielder Antonin Barak.
According to a report from Gazzetta dello Sport, as relayed by Sport Witness, Newcastle United and West Ham United have learnt how much it would cost them to secure the signing of Hellas Verona and Czech Republic midfielder Antonin Barak.
The 27-year-old spent the early parts of his career in his homeland, plying his trade for FK Pribram, Graffin Vlasim (loan) and Slavia Prague before he made his way to Italy in 2017 signing for Udinese. He made 54 appearances for the Zebrette before moving on to Lecce on loan in January 2020, before signing for Hellas Verona temporarily later in the summer that year.
Upon arriving, Barak made a solid impression at the club, prompting them to sign him on a permanent deal in the last summer window. A mainstay in the side, he has made 53 appearances for the Gialloblu, bagging 12 goals and seven assists. The 27-year-old also has 28 appearances for the Czech Republic national team, in which he has scored eight goals.
A versatile midfielder, Barak can play as a No. 10 or in a more withdrawn role in the middle of the park, while he has also been used as a centre-forward on occasions. His progress in Verona has not gone unnoticed, with Premier League clubs Newcastle and West Ham taking an interest in the 27-year-old, along with AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Newcastle United are in the market to strengthen their squad as they look to avoid the fate of relegation. Having already signed Kieran Trippier, the Magpies are looking for a new centre-back, a striker, and a midfielder who can provide a creative impetus and goals from midfield, something that Joe Willock has been unable to do this season.
Barak, to that end, can be an option worth looking at, given the versatility he brings to the table. However, they are also keeping tabs on Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli and Todd Cantwell of Norwich City.
As for West Ham United, they are looking to add more depth in the midfield areas as they look to make a concrete push for the top four and achieve further progress in Europe. Given the Czech contingent of Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal and Alex Kral at the club, Barak could have a much easier time settling into life at the London Stadium.
However, the report mentions that Hellas Verona will demand at least €20 million for their asset, having signed him for just €6 million. Furthermore, it is also claimed that they will not entertain offers in mid-season and wait till the summer to cash in on Barak, which will come as a blow to their suitors, especially Newcastle, who are in desperate need of reinforcements.