Lazio striker Ciro Immobile has claimed that Newcastle were interested in hiring a new Italian head coach to replace Steve Bruce had the Saudi Arabian takeover been successful.
Immobile himself says he had early contact from the proposed new owners over a possible move to St James’ Park, which is how he claims to know the Magpies were looking at managers like Massimiliano Allegri and Luciano Spalletti.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) were providing the bulk of the funds for a takeover consortium led by Newcastle fan and financier Amanda Staveley, but the £300m bid was withdrawn at the end of last month, citing the ‘the prolonged process under the current circumstances.’
Immobile, who scored 36 goals in 37 Serie A appearances this season, has now told Corriere dello Sport that his agent was approached by someone on behalf of the proposed new Newcastle owners.
“During the period in which there was talk of the possible purchase of Newcastle by the Sheikh’s fund they called my agent, Alessandro Moggi,” Immobile said. “Then the Premier League did not approve that proposal, or the fund withdrew, I don’t remember well. I know they were also looking for an Italian coach, Allegri or Spalletti.”
Chronicle Live conversely reports that the new owners were prepared to give time to Bruce to prove his worth, largely because of the short time-frame before the 2020/21 season is due to start.
Immobile goals have earned him the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe as the top scorer in Europe this season. He is the first player not based in La Liga to win it outright since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08, when the Portuguese was at Manchester United. He is also the first other than Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to win it outright since Diego Forlan at Atletico Madrid in 2008/09.
Immobile is already on Everton’s radar this summer, with Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti keen for financial backing in the transfer market and an admirer. But the 30-year-old is valued in excess of £50m and isn’t the only player Ancelotti wants to bring to Goodison Park.
Source : 90min