Who is Dimitris Giannoulis? The exciting left-back on Newcastle United's transfer radar
Newcastle United need to sign a left-back this summer – and Dimitris Giannoulis is a £4million target.
Steve Bruce is looking to replace Danny Rose, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the club from Tottenham Hotspur after Jetro Willems, another loanee, suffered a season-ending injury in January.
Rose, now in the final year of his contract, is one option, but PAOK’s Giannoulis has emerged as an alternative, and the 24-year-old ticks a lot of boxes.
Who is he?
Giannoulis started his career at Katerini-based club Vataniakos before joining PAOK in Thessaloniki
He went on to have four loans, including a season at Newcastle’s one-time Europa League opponents Atromitos, before establishing himself in the PAOK first team and the senior Greece set-up.
What can he bring to the team?
Giannoulis is seen as the Greece’s second-best left-back behind Konastantinos Tsimikas, who joined Premier League champions Liverpool from Olymiakos this summer.
He is quick, and known for his sound positioning and good understanding of the game, both defensive and offensively.
Giannoulis has also played on the left side of midfield. He helped PAOK win the Greek Super League the season before last after returning from a loan at Athens-based club Atromitos, and also impressed in the 2019 Greek Cup final against AEK Athens, which his team won 1-0.
Sources in Greece suggest that PAOK are prepared to sell Giannoulis this summer, and there has been interest in him from France.Watford manager Vladimir Ivic – who had a spell in charge of PAOK – is also said to be keen on Giannoulis, though he is likely to be out of the relegated club’s price range.
And Newcastle are seemingly leading the race to sign the player.
What are the alternatives?
Rose is available this summer, but the 29-year-old’s age – and wages – are an issue for United.
Bruce said last week that the club must “box clever” this summer given the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Willems, in the final year of his contract, did well for Newcastle before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in January, and he’s admired by Bruce, but the 26-year-old isn’t yet ready to make a playing return.