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Diego Carlos transfer to Newcastle United now in the balance

4 months ago

Like every other Newcastle United fan, this January transfer window is feeling like a real endurance test for me.

Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, ‘updates’ from the media on the supposed progress or otherwise, in terms of Newcastle United landing their alleged transfer targets.

Nowhere more so than with Diego Carlos.

The Athletic first reported back in December that Newcastle United wanted the 28 year old Brazilian central defender and that news arrived alongside claims that Sevilla were ready to sell in this window, if Newcastle offered the right money.

On Tuesday, Spanish media company AS said that their understanding was that Sevilla were expecting to sell Diego Carlos to Newcastle United and bring in Anthony Martial from  an Utd, Sky Sports then reported that their information was that Diego Carlos had now asked to leave Sevilla, so he could join Newcastle United. Wednesday morning then brought yet another update, with journalist Fabrizio Romano saying that his information was that Diego Carlos had now agreed personal terms with Newcastle United, just a case of the two clubs now coming to a final agreement on the transfer fee, as over the course of a number of bids, Newcastle had crept closer to the tipping point of the La Liga side saying yes.

Fast forward to last night and Diego Carlos was named in the Sevilla team to play away at Valencia, so clearly no final  agreement on any transfer reached by that point. Sevilla taking a seventh minute lead and Carlos playing the full match, though with an equaliser conceded in the second-half, the 1-1 draw means that Sevilla are four points behind leaders Real Madrid, having played the same number of matches.

Comments made after the final whistle have made big headlines.

With Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui having tested positive for Covid, his assistant Pablo Sanz was on media duties. Predictable asked about the Diego Carlos transfer situation, Sanz said that he thinks the defender will be at Sevilla ‘until the end of the season.’

Whilst when Diego Carlos himself was asked about his future, he replied with: ‘I have a lot of time left here [in Spain with Sevilla].’

These comments then sparking massive headlines claiming that definitely this means Diego Carlos is not going to sign for Newcastle United this month.

Well, maybe that is the case…but what history tells us and many many other transfer tale sagas, what people say and what actually happens, is often not the same thing. I have no idea what the chances are, if any, of Diego Carlos signing for Newcastle this month. I don’t know whether or not there was any chance, or not, of the centre-back signing up for this NUFC relegation battle.

However, what I do know, is that when asked these questions, in 99% of cases the Sevilla assistant manager and Diego Carlos himself, are always going to say what they said, no matter what may or may not be possible in these remaining 12 days of the transfer window. What we also know when it comes to transfers, is that money talks.

What I do believe on the weight of evidence / speculation, is that Newcastle United have definitely made bids to buy Diego Carlos AND that Sevilla have made clear (via agents etc) that they would consider selling the player this month.

I don’t think it is impossible that this transfer will happen now and a lot could depend on whether Newcastle United can be successful elsewhere with other transfer targets. Maybe even not necessarily with signing another centre-back (or two), as there are so many positions in this Newcastle United team that need strengthening, if NUFC can sign targets in other positions using the money earmarked for Diego Carlos, then United may well not sign any centre-backs, or go for a cheaper probably loan option in the final stages of the window.

The thing is, from the point of view of Sevilla, I just can’t believe that they are now saying an absolute no chance on selling Diego Carlos this month.

The position is that the Spanish club currently have a 28 year old centre-back who Newcastle United are prepared to pay a premium for, so that he can hopefully play a key role in this survival battle, plus then of course what he can supply in the following seasons.

If Sevilla don’t sell this month, they then in the summer have a central defender who will turn 30 (in March 2023) in the upcoming season and who will surely have a transfer value some £10m-£15m less than they could now bank from Newcastle United.

As for what the Diego Carlos stats tell us, this is how Sevilla have got on these past six seasons in La Liga:

2016/17 – Finish 4th in La Liga, conceding 49 goals in 38 games

2017/18 – Finish 4th in La Liga, conceding 58 goals in 38 games

2018/19 – Finish 6th in La Liga, conceding 47 goals in 38 games

2019/20 – Finish 4th in La Liga, conceding 34 goals in 38 games

2020/21 – Finish 4th in La Liga, conceding 33 goals in 38 games

2021/22 – Currently second in La Liga, conceding 14 goals in 21 games

So, Diego Carlos signed for Sevilla in June 2019, bought from Nantes for £13m.

In the three seasons before he arrived, Sevilla conceded 154 goals in 114 league matches, indeed, 105 in the very last two before Diego Carlos came in.

Since the Brazilian arrived, Sevilla have conceded 81 goals in 97 league games

In the three seasons before, Sevilla averaging 1.35 goals conceded per match, after Carlos arrived that average becoming 0.83 goals conceded per La Liga match.

Diego Carlos has started 87 of the 97 La Liga matches since his arrival,  this season, only 14 goals conceded in 21 La Liga matches and Carlos has started and played every minute of 20 of the 21. Leaders Real Madrid have conceded four more than Sevilla, whilst the clubs in third and fourth have each conceded 24 compared to Sevilla’s 14.

I have no doubt that Diego Carlos would be an asset to Newcastle United if signing this month but as to whether that will happen, we await with interest. I can’t though see this signing happening in the summer, I reckon all or nothing this month.


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