According to Goal.com, Newcastle United are keen on signing Sampdoria defender Omar Colley. The Gambian international has had a good season in Italy and would reportedly set the Magpies back £15million – but they aren’t the only Premier League club interested in the player.
Sampdoria are very keen to keep hold of Colley this winter, especially since their other first choice centre-back Alex Ferrari picked up a long-term injury recently. It seems unlikely they will allow Colley to leave without finding a replacement – as a result it seems far more likely that Colley will move in the summer, rather than this month.
The other teams in the race for the defender are Southampton and West Ham United – with Southampton offering the most competition to Newcastle for Colley’s signature. It seems likely Colley would go straight into the first eleven at Southampton, while he’d have some serious competition for his place at Newcastle and West Ham. As a result, you’d imagine both the Hammers and Magpies would be looking to offload one or two players before bringing in a player like this.
At 27-years-old, Colley represents a strong alternative to the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune – who are arguably Newcastle’s three best central defenders. Given that he’s a bit taller than the current options at Newcastle, Colley would likely play in the middle of the three-back formation the Magpies currently use as opposed to as the left-sided central defender – where he usually plays for Sampdoria.
It’s a move that makes sense for the Magpies, but if they bring in Colley, it means we’ll likely see the departure of one, possibly even both, of Ciaran Clark or Federico Fernandez. Given that he’s out of contract in the summer, it seems probable Fernandez will be the one to leave – but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Clark follow him out the door in the transfer window.
As mentioned above, this is a move for the summer where Newcastle and Steve Bruce are concerned – they’ve got far more pressing concerns right now. Given the struggles of their forwards so far this term, the priority for United this month is a new striker to partner Joelinton – who has struggled to take on the goal-scoring responsibility at St James’ Park.