According to a story by the Shields Gazette this afternoon, Leicester City striker Islam Slimani is ‘high on Newcastle’s shortlist’ – an interesting claim following talk of us making a £20m move for an unnamed striker this week.
The Algerian striker became Leicester’s club record signing in the summer of 2016, sealing a £29m move from Sporting Lisbon, however he appears to be pushing for a move this month after being handed just one Premier League start all season.
The story in the Gazette does not claim that Slimani is the mystery striker who Newcastle are currently in talks with over a £20m transfer, but they do insist that he is a player Benitez holds a definite interest in this month.
He has been linked with loan moves to Besiktas, Watford and Chelsea and looks set to leave Leicester this month – whether that be temporarily or permanently.
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) January 23, 2018
Personally, I’d be more than happy to see him sign, but think a loan deal makes more sense and seems the more realistic outcome. Would Ashley be paying big money for a man turning 30 soon? I doubt it – although Slimani did cost Leicester the best part of £30m 18 months ago.
He’s a big strong striker whose dangerous in the air and has an eye for goal (40 goals in his previous two season at Lisbon and Leicester) – with him providing an ideal upgrade on Joselu and Mitrovic if you ask me.
With him (on loan) and a deal for a £20m striker arrival being mooted, it makes me wonder if Newcastle may just look into cashing in on Mitrovic AND Gayle this month.
It’s highly unlikely that all that business will get done, but Rafa has proven in the past that he’s happy to make big moves if it means improving his NUFC squad.