Newcastle have targeted Switzerland international Tranquillo Barnetta as a replacement for Joey Barton, with the midfielder set to leave the club on a free transfer this summer, according to the Journal.
Barton has been in the middle of a long running transfer saga with the north-eastern club’s board, and yesterday Newcastle released a statement saying they would allow the controversial star to leave on a free transfer.
And now, while Newcastle are still looking for a striker to fill the hole Andy Carroll has left, the club are also hoping to find a midfielder or winger to create chances for their forward line.
Barnetta has been a target for Newcastle for quite a while, and now that Barton is definitely leaving, the Toon will step up their chase and line up a bid for the star.
Newcastle reportedly sent a scout to watch Barnetta in the Euro 2012 qualifier between Switzerland and England in June, and after the 26-year-old scored, the scout returned to Alan Pardew with a glowing report.