Newcastle United interested in signing Yoann Barbet – Report
Yoann Barbet is a summer target according to new reports.
The French defender will be a free agent in the summer and obviously is the kind of price that appeals to Mike Ashley.
The 25 year old is now completing his fourth season at Brentford after arriving from French lower league club Chamois Niortais back in 2015.
The report from Calciomercato claims that Aston Villa are also interested in the defender.
As with all transfer stories you believe what you want but Rafa Benitez has shown he believes there is still value to be had in relation to finding defenders.
Fabian Schar was recruited from Deportivo who had been relegated and he had a £3m release clause, whilst Florian Lejeune was brought in just after turning 26 in May 2017 after just one full season in top level football, when playing for minnows Eibar in La Liga.
Yoann Barbet also turns 26 this May and like his countryman Lejeune, is now settled in England.
Maybe the most interesting aspect of this particular transfer story is that Barbet very much prefers to play as one of three centre-backs, with Brentford having reverted this season to a formation that Rafa Benitez has also now embraced.
Yoann Barbet plays on the left hand side in the three centre-back formation but can also play left-back.
Speaking earlier this month (see below), Yoann Barbet confirmed he wasn’t sure whether he would sign another contract or leave, indicating that a promotion might decide his mind.
However, since then Brentford have lost their last two matches and dropped to 14th, eight points off the play-offs, so promotion looks all but dead in the water now.
Yoann Barbet speaking to the Brentford matchday programme in early March:
“I’ve been here for four years and had good spells and bad spells.
“Before this run of fixtures, the last time I had a run of games in my position was the first six months under Dean [Smith]. Now I’m playing every game in my position and enjoying my football.
“This formation means that there is one more space at centre-back, which gives me an opportunity to play more.
“I love this club and I do everything I can. The fans are great with me and that makes me really happy because it shows I’m doing a good job.
“I’m not trying to present myself in a certain way for them to love me, I’m just being myself.
“It’s good to see all the love from the fans, but I’m approaching the end of my contract and, after four years, maybe I want to see another country and another league.
“I could end up staying in the Championship, it’s hard to say.
“We’ve finished in the top ten three years in a row, and it will be difficult to finish in the play-offs this year – it’s not over but we’re not in the best position.
“I can be there, I can be away, but today I can’t say. I’m just trying to do my best for the club.
“If we can do what Fulham did last year, I’ll be delighted for everyone.
“I’m not booking my holiday yet because I still be we can do something this season.”
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