North East Connected

Antonio Barreca Signs For NUFC

Antonio Barreca has joined Newcastle United on loan until the end of the 2018/19 season.

The former Italy under-21 international has signed a deal with an option for the Magpies to sign him permanently from his parent club, Monaco, at the end of the campaign.

Barreca, 23, is a left-back who progressed through the ranks at Torino to become an established starter in Serie A.

He joined Monaco last summer, but the French club have endured a difficult season in Ligue 1 and Rafa Benítez has moved to bring him to St. James’ Park for the remainder of the campaign.

Benítez said: “The left-back/left-wing-back position is one we’ve been looking to strengthen for a while and he’s an Italy under-21 international who we know has quality, good delivery and is good going forward.

“He has the attributes, he has the quality and he has the characteristics that we look for. Now we must see how quickly he can adapt, but we will try to help him and if he can give us more competition in this area, and more quality in the final third with his deliveries, the only thing I can see is a positive.”

Turin-born Barreca, speaking to NUFC TV in his first interview as a Newcastle player, added: “I am very happy to be here. I have accepted this challenge with a great deal of enthusiasm and I can’t wait to start.

“I know that Newcastle is a big and historic club. I know that the people here really love football and that the fans are really behind the team. I think that the Premier League is the best league, so for me this is further motivation to do well.”

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