Friday, August 03, 2007

Rearguard action

After a month of frustrating silence, a flurry of activity.

No sooner had the arrival of Alan Smith been announced than we completed the free transfer signing of central defender Cacapa from five time French champions Lyon. He was on Tyneside yesterday for a medical, and has signed a two year deal. Frozen out of the Lyon side and the wrong side of 30, the Brazilian will nevertheless give us much-needed experience at the back.

He could soon be joined by fellow centre-back Ivica Dragutinovic of Sevilla, who is rumoured to have been the subject of a £2.5m bid. One quote attributed to the Serbia & Montenegro international should give us cause for concern, though: "This is the financial opportunity of my life and do not want to reject it". We don't want players who see us simply as a cash cow.

Meanwhile, Villareal are apparently claiming that a deal has been done for their Spanish U21 left-back Jose Enrique Sanchez Diaz. If it has (and there's been no word from the club yet), then someone's going to have to come up with a nickname and fast, because I don't fancy having to type that out all the time...

And on the subject of left-backs, we continue to be linked with Wigan's Leighton Baines, who - for my money - would be an excellent signing if we can get him for around the £5m mark. Baines, of course, recently rejected a move to the Stadium of Shite, and having poached Mark Viduka from the Smoggies and then pinched Smith from under their noses, it'd be nice to upset Royston Keane and the Mackems too...


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