Who Signed Barreca - It Wasn't Rafa!

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is far from happy with January signing Antonio Barreca, reports claim. And according to the Chronicle ... Rafa didn't want him in the first place!

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The Italian left-back joined on loan from Monaco on deadline day but has hardly featured since his arrival on Tyneside.

His only appearance came as an 86th-minute substitute against Tottenham at the beginning of February, and he has since been left out of the last four matchday squads.

Newcastle can buy Barreca from Monaco on a permanent deal for £8million, but it looks certain they will send him back to France.

According to The Sun, Benitez considers the 23-year-old to be defensively suspect and he could struggle to get any game time between now and the end of the season.

Paul Dummett is the Magpies’ only natural left-back, hence why Benitez was desperate for reinforcements in January.

However, it is understood the Spaniard was never interested in Barreca.

The left-back looks set to return to Monaco.

Owner Mike Ashley broke the club’s transfer record to sign Miguel Almiron for £20.7million, but it seems Benitez did not get everything he wanted.

Matt Ritchie has now established himself in the left-wing-back role and reports suggest Benitez will try and sign another full-back in the summer.