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Newcastle sign Monaco’s Antonio Barreca on loan until the end of the season

Newcastle have completed the signing of Monaco full-back Antonio Barreca on a loan deal until the end of the season, with an option to buy.

Boss Rafael Benitez had earmarked the acquisition of a left-back in January and was on the verge of signing Lazio’s Jordan Lukaku last week.

Newcastle have acted quickly to bring in an alternative to Lukaku in the shape of former Italy U21 international Barreca.

Barreca joined Monaco from Torino in July but has manged just eight starts for the Ligue 1 side and has not featured in a matchday squad since the beginning of November last year.

Barreca told NUFC TV: “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.”

Speaking about the signing, Benitez told the club’s website: “The left-back/left-wing-back position is one we’ve been looking to strengthen for a while and he’s an Italy U21 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.”

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