Luca Caldirola has turned down the chance to join Newcastle United and instead will stay in the Bundesliga.
The centre-back (occasional left-back) is going to sign another contract at Werder Bremen, Sky Italia (Sky Sports in Italy) reporting that he has agreed to commit until June 2019 with a two year deal.
The player was due to be out of contract at the end of June and the 26 year old would have been a free agent.
Luca Cardirola had a nightmare season just gone at Werder Bremen, out with ligament damage for most of the season he was back training earlier this year and made a couple of reserve team appearances before breaking back into the first team with five Bundesliga starts.
Only for that to be brought to an abrupt halt when he broke a bone in his foot and he saw the final month of the season out in the treatment room.
Luca Caldirola had originally turned down a new deal at Werder Bremen and the Italian media said that while Bologna wanted to take him back to Italy, the player didn’t want to return to Serie A, with Newcastle favourites to sign him.
Rafa Benitez actually had Caldirola at Inter Milan during the Manager’s short spell at the club, Rafa arriving in June 2010 and loaning out the then 19 year old player to Vitesse Arnhem for the season – Rafa Benitez sacked in the December and so long gone by the time the defender returned.
With Newcastle needing squad strengthening in just about every positioning, the versatile 26 year old could have ticked a few boxes for Rafa Benitez, though there would have been concerns regarding his injury record.
After starting his career at Inter Milan and becoming an Under 21 regular for Italy, Caldirola found himself out on loan at Brescia in the Italian second tier and then also playing in Serie B with Cesena.
His big move came when Werder Bremen paid £2m to take him to Germany in summer 2013 and he played 33 times in the league during his first season.
However, injuries and at times indifferent form have meant opportunities were more limited and after only five starts the following season in the league (on the bench unused 17 times), he went out on loan last (2015/16) season to Darmstadt.
Luca Cardirola was back to form and played every single minute of their league season, helping the minnows to retain their Bundesliga status by two points (this season Darmstadt finished rock bottom and were relegated).
Central defender Ruben Semedo was also widely reported as a Newcastle target but moved to Villarreal for a reported £12m on Wednesday.
With Grant Hanley looking a certainty to leave and Chancel Mbemba also likely to be moving on, it appears at least one new central defender will be arriving this summer.