Newcastle have made an enquiry to AS Roma over the availability of Roger Ibanez as Eddie Howe steps up his attempts to land a new central defender.
It is well known that Howe is in the hunt for a new central defender ahead of next season. Indeed the Magpies are strongly pursuing a move for Sven Botman. But Howe has other targets as well and Ibanez appears to be one of them.
Ibanez was an ever-present in a Roma side that finished sixth in Serie A last season. They conceded 43 goals, making them one of the stingiest defences in Italy. Jose Mourinho’s side also went on to win the Europa Conference League, with Ibanez again playing a crucial role.
It is no surprise then that clubs are showing an interest. Leicester City have also been mentioned in the past. However Il Messaggero are suggesting it is a straight scrap between Newcastle and Tottenham.
And they claim that Tottenham are in a rush to get a deal done. A new central defender is also high on Antonio Conte’s wanted list and he wants Ibanez on board asap. That would allow as much time as possible for him to gel with his new team-mates.
But the report claims that Newcastle could throw a spanner in the works. They have apparently met with Roma officials to talk about a potential deal.
Newcastle and Tottenham on alert as Lille say Botman will leave
Newcastle and Tottenham will look for Sven Botman this summer as Lille hint player will leave
Roma are also open to selling the Brazilian defender if their £30million valuation is met this summer. That is some come down as it was claimed there is a £80million release clause in the player’s contract.
Roger Ibanez a good alternative to Sven Botman
Much will depend on whether Newcastle wrap up a deal for Botman as they will not swoop for both. The latest reports have suggested that Newcastle have stepped up their attempts to land Lille defender Botman. And are ready to push the boat out to get the deal done ahead of the likes of Arsenal.
But until a deal is done it is wise to keep an eye on the market. Like Botman, Ibanez has his best years ahead of him. He is 23, just a year older than Botman.
However he would not cost as much depending on what valuation is correct. It could take in excess of £40million to land Botman and it remains to be seen if that will be an issue. According to the latest reports, probably not, but Howe is weighing up his options.
Ibanez definitely appears to be a player on the up though. And if they do want him they will have to move quickly as Tottenham are in a rush.