Allardyce cools Barzagli talk
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sam Allardyce admits Andrea Barzagli would not be a priority signing for Newcastle.Sam Allardyce admits Andrea Barzagli would not be a priority signing for Newcastle United and remains hopeful Obafemi Martins will stay at St James' Park.
Palermo defender Barzagli has been linked with a move to the Magpies as Allardyce looks to reinforce a leaky back-line.
But whilst acknowledging an interest in the Italy international, Allardyce concedes he initially needs players with Premier League experience.
"Overall this is a talented squad, but we must find some big, strong, experienced, quality defenders, preferably ones who have played in this country," said Allardyce.
"Barzagli is a very good player, but first and foremost I need one or two who know what English football's all about."
In addition to strengthening his squad, Allardyce is also aiming to ensure that none of his key players leave the club.
Martins has been linked with a move to Arsenal and reportedly wants to activate a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for a set sum.
But Allardyce has been assured the rumours are unfounded, although he concedes there is a chance the Nigerian striker could leave.
The Magpies manager added: "I have not spoken to Oba himself, only his representatives, who assure me there is nothing in it.
"But while the window is open, and when somebody has a get-out clause like he does, there is always a chance you might lose him.
"You hope that is not going to be the case, but you have to just keep your fingers crossed and hope it does not happen."