Newcastle United now pose a threat to the likes of Leicester City and Arsenal when it comes to the battle for the transfer of Domenico Berardi, according to reports.
Berardi has spent his entire career with Sassuolo, amassing 119 goals from 319 appearances. The right winger is their all-time record goalscorer as a result. This season has been one of his best, too, with 14 goals and 14 assists from 27 Serie A appearances.
There has long been the idea that Berardi is capable of performing for a bigger club. He was once co-owned by Juventus, but Sassuolo were still the ones to benefit from his talent on the pitch and eventually bought out the deal.
Now, Berardi is back on the radar of some of Europe’s elite. There will only be two years left on his contract by the time the summer comes around. In advance, he has been linked with Arsenal and Leicester.
But according to the Chronicle – who describe Berardi as “one of the best of his generation” – Newcastle are also in the mix to sign the 27-year-old.
After making four permanent signings and one loan addition in their first transfer window since their Saudi-backed takeover, there is much anticipation for what the summer will hold for Newcastle.
The fact that they look more likely to stay in the Premier League now also works in their favour. Over time, they will become even more ambitious.
One area they want to strengthen is in attacking midfield. Before their takeover, they largely relied on Allan Saint-Maximin in that area. Now, they have the resources to sign someone who can ease the burden on him.
Since Saint-Maximin mainly plays on the left and Berardi the right, they could in theory be deployed either side of a striker in an exciting frontline at St James’ Park.
Berardi at peak value
There are no details yet of how much bidding for Berardi may cost them. According to Transfermarkt, his market value is currently the highest it ever has been.
Still, several clubs would fancy their chances of tempting Sassuolo to cash in. Thanks to their riches, Newcastle would be one of the most powerful financially.
Whether they have the sporting project to match is a long-term question. But things seem to be on the up in that regard. Therefore, they could try their luck at accommodating Berardi as one of the next pieces of their puzzle.
For now, Newcastle must focus on their on-pitch duties for the remainder of the season. They will be hoping to finish well clear of the relegation zone after previously looking in trouble.
With nine games of their campaign to go, they are now closer to the top half than the bottom three. Berardi’s Sassuolo, meanwhile, are ninth in Serie A with eight matches left.