Newcastle defender Achraf Lazaar has confirmed that three MLS clubs have been in contact over a potential move, with him looking to secure first-team football in a bid to earn a place in Morocco’s World Cup squad.
The left-back was loaned to Serie A side Benevento last summer, however it was cut short last month, with their new-boss axing him from their squad to make room for the free agent signing of Bacary Sagna.
He’s had a torrid few years, starting just SIX games since arriving at St James’ Park in the summer of 2016, and he’s now pushing for another move in a bid to feature in Morocco’s World Cup squad.
Here’s what the Moroccan had to say when speaking to Gazzamercato.it:
“Unfortunately, I have been pushed out of the Benevento squad.
“Coming here was a bad decision and I wouldn’t do it again, even if I got to know the extraordinary President Vigorito. I still respect him, despite the decision they have made.
“I have nothing against Coach Roberto De Zerbi, as he made his choices.
“I belong to Newcastle and must think about what is best for my career and right now I need playing time.
“I can confirm that there are three clubs who are interested in MLS, but I prefer to respect those clubs, and not name the ones who contacted me.
“It is not easy purely in terms of red tape to go to America but with my new agent Roberto De Fanti we are seeking the best solution.
Lazaar then admitted it is a ‘dream’ for him to represent his country at the World Cup, however his hopes of achieving that are fading badly.
He’s been frozen out at Benevento and will not return to Newcastle before pre-season, meaning he’s unlikely to kick a ball competitively between now and this summer’s tournament unless he secures another move ASAP:
“Representing my country is the greatest satisfaction and I want to be at the World Cup with Morocco, as that would be a dream.
“Now I will do everything I can to earn my chance.
“I really miss the Morocco squad, as I played during the qualifiers for the World Cup and will do everything to get my place in the side.
“I haven’t been the usual Lazaar in recent months, but I have matured a great deal, I was a kid when I first became known and now I am a man.”
This could be one to watch, with Lazaar and his team clearly pushing for any move he can get so he can get back playing and force his way back into Morocco’s plans.
Whatever happens, you suspect he’ll be one of the first players Rafa tries to ship out in the summer.