Andrea Ranocchia is likely to leave Inter Milan on a free transfer this summer – seven years after current Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez signed him.

It’s not easy to decipher whether Andrea Ranocchia was a success in his five-month loan spell at Hull City. On one hand, the former Inter Milan captain was largely solid in Marco Silva’s backline, reviving a reputation that had been ripped to shreds during a disastrous couple of years in Serie A.

On the other, Ranocchia’s ill-timed air-kick gifted Wilfred Zaha the goal which condemned Hull to relegation during a 4-0 pasting at Crystal Palace with just a week to go in the Premier League season.

Therefore, you could forgive Newcastle supporters for being a little sceptical as The Chronicle reports that the newly-promoted Magpies will be offered the chance to sign the 29-year-old on a free transfer when his contract at the San Siro expires this summer.

The report adds that Swansea City, who survived at Hull’s expense, are keen to take the 21-time Italy international to South Wales while perennial Greek champions Olympiakos are also interested.

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez knows Andrea Ranocchia well

However, the presence of Rafael Benitez in the Newcastle dugout could make the difference. After all, The Chronicle claims that the Spaniard attempted to sign Ranocchia at former club Napoli after laying the foundations for his arrival at Inter from Genoa back in 2010.

It is understood that Benitez would like to sign at least one centre-back this summer with the exiled Grant Hanley (below) expected to leave and fans’ favourite Chancel Mbemba also failing to win over the manager

And although Ranocchia proved unable to keep Hull alive and kicking in the top flight, his good performances far outweighed the bad at the KCom.

In other news, Club owner says Norwich have offered £5m for eight-goal star; he wants £13m