North-East reports reveal TWO strikers Benitez holds a ‘very keen interest’ in signing this month

According to the Chronicle this morning, Rafa Benitez holds a ‘very keen interest’ in Leicester’s Islam Slimani and Liverpool’s Danny Ings this month, with the Spaniard having placed a new striker at the top of his priority list over the coming weeks.

It was claimed in the Northern Echo today that Newcastle have in fact submitted loan offers for the pair, and while the Chronicle have suggested this is not quite the case in response to those rumours, they state that Benitez does hold genuine interest in both:

“Reports today suggest that United have made bids for Liverpool’s Danny Ings and Leicester City’s Islam Slimani but as we understand it, United have yet to move further on with what is a very keen interest in both strikers.”

Ings has returned from a series of long-term injuries and will be eager for first-team minutes after a lack of opportunities at Liverpool, however it’s Leicester Slimani who I’d prefer to see sign out of the two.

Rafa seems to like a big man up top and the 6ft 2′ Algerian would be exactly that, but I’d imagine he could deliver the goals Joselu has struggled to so far.

Due to a busy festive schedule, he was handed a rare start by Leicester in their 3-0 win over Huddersfield recently and he impressed. He showed a decent turn of pace and composure for a big man and is a big threat in the air – not forgetting he would have a real point to prove if he arrived on Tyneside after being given limited chances to impress in England following a £30m move from Sporting Lisbon last month.

This composed finish below was his fifth goal of the season. Not bad for a player whose started just 5 times this season:

It seems we’ll have real competition for the signature of either, but based on what we need and his showing for Leicester this week, I’d be inclined to see Slimani arrive.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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