The Dutch winger has made no secret of his desire to leave the Italian champions and Alan Pardew's side are leading the chase for his signatureEXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart
Newcastle are eyeing a move for Juventus winger Eljero Elia as they look to build on this season’s success and mount another challenge for a Champions League spot next year.
The Dutchman has made no secret of his desire to leave the Italian champions and Newcastle are leading the race for his signature this summer after their manager Alan Pardew registered his interest.
Sources close to the 25-year-old have told Goal.com that he regrets turning down the opportunity to move to St James’ Park last year, when he joined Juventus from Hamburg in a €9 million (£7.2m) deal.
Newcastle are in the market for a versatile winger to play on the left side, a role occupied by out-of-position central striker Demba Ba since the arrival of Papiss Cisse in January.
Pardew was interested in bringing Elia to the club on loan during the January transfer window, but was unable to due to Fifa regulations that forbid players from featuring for more than two clubs in one season. The former West Ham boss is now considering a permanent bid for the Netherlands international. Blackburn winger Junior Hoilett has also been suggested as a possible target for Premier League’s fifth-placed side, who go into Sunday’s final match of the season against Everton with a chance of finishing in the top four.
Elia, previously a target for Liverpool, is eager to play in the Premier League and hopes to kickstart his career following a nightmare season in Turin.
Juventus wrapped up their first Italian title in nine years last weekend but the former Hamburg star has been unable to conceal his frustration having made just four Serie A appearances this term.
"I want to leave Juventus. I want to enjoy playing football again. I remained quiet all year and was always positive towards the club and the team, but I never got a chance to prove my worth," Elia was quoted as saying by Algemeen Dagblad this week.
"I didn't play much and consequently miss out on Euro 2012. It's fair to say this season has been a failure. It's really hurt me, but I've become stronger mentally.
"I'm 25 now and I still have a long career ahead of me. I came from far, but I will have to start all over again."