Newcastle linked with ‘new Asprilla’ Victor Ibarbo

CULT HERO ... Tino Asprilla.
CULT HERO ... Tino Asprilla.

NEWCASTLE United have been linked with the new Tino Asprilla – Colombian forward Victor Ibarbo.

The frontman is expected to leave Italian outfit Cagliari this summer and the Magpies have been credited with an interest in the 24-year-old.

Ibarbo has just 12 months left on his contract with the Serie A side, and could be available for £8m.

The pacy attacker has been a permanent fixture in the Cagliari side this season, either on the wing or as a second forward, scoring five goals in 23 starts.

While his goalscoring record isn’t exceptional, Ibarbo has attracted the attention of Juventus, AC Milan, Stuttgart and Napoli.

He is part of Colombia’s 23-man World Cup squad, and played the full 90 minutes in their warm-up game against Senegal on Saturday.

Any deal for Ibarbo would have to be done after the World Cup, with Cagliari hoping he has an exceptional tournament to increase his price tag.

Their sporting director, Nicola Salerno, said: “At the moment it’s impossible to speak about the market as he’s going to the World Cup.

“He is very likely to end up at a big European club.

“Now it is important that he has an important World Cup.”

Ibarbo became the first Colombian to score a Serie A hat-trick since Asprilla when he netted a treble last season against Sampdoria.

Asprilla famously joined Newcastle from Parma in 1996 and became a cult hero on Tyneside, scoring 18 goals in 50 starts.

Newcastle are desperate for attacking reinforcements with Loic Remy, Luuk de Jong and Shola Ameobi not returning to the club next season.

That just leaves Papiss Cisse as the only senior striker, but he is recovering from a broken kneecap and won’t be fit for the start of the campaign.

United are on the verge of completing a deal for Spanish striker Ayoze Perez, 20, for £1.8m.

They were also linked with a move for Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner at the weekend.