Last night’s scorer in Italy’s 3-0 Euro 2020 victory over Turkey, Ciro Immobile is another one that got away for Newcastle United last year when they were readying themselves for a takeover.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Newcastle were set to pay £49 million for the Lazio striker, along with a bumper £140,000-a-week contract to bring him to St. James’ Park.
The reports emerged last summer when the Magpies were in the midst of a takeover saga.
The Italy international scored his nation’s second goal in the Group A game against Turkey last night. They won 3-0.
Last summer Newcastle were one of the frontrunners in purchasing the 31-year-old.
“During the period in which there was talk of the possible purchase of Newcastle by the Sheikh’s fund they called my agent,” Immobile said to Corriere dello Sport.
“Then the Premier League did not approve that proposal.”
Immobile scored 20 goals in Serie A last season, coming fifth in the league’s top scorer charts. He boasted 0.6 goals per 90 minutes, with just 0.1 of those goals coming outside the box. That tells you what type of player he is.
The signing of a player of such quality would have no doubt elevated Newcastle into huge competitors last season. Instead, the takeover saga stalled and has now gone into an arbitration process.
If Mike Ashely wins the case, then the takeover of Newcastle into the hands of PIF consortium will take a step closer and subsequently so would the possible transfer of players of Immobile’s calibre to St James’ Park.
Across five years, Immobile has scored 150 goals in 219 games for the Rome side, making the star one of Serie A’s most prolific strikers in recent years.
His standout season was in 2019-20 where he netted an incredible 39 times in 44 games.
The collapse of Newcastle’s link to the forward was down to the takeover deal being put on hold. Immobile opted to sign a five-year contract with Lazio in August 2020.
The player would have fitted in well at Newcastle, and his comments after the Group A encounter showing his humility.
After the match, Immobile said to Sky Italia: “I must say it was a bit strange to feel this warmth and this affection that we have missed so much.
“This victory is dedicated to them, to those who suffered and those who could not buy the ticket. When I scored, I first cheered for my wife, children, and family.”