The Chronicle have revealed this afternoon what a big part Rafa Benitez played in the signing of Islam Slimani, with sources close to the player confirming that his deadline day phone call convinced him to join NUFC despite having offers from Roma, Monaco and West Ham.
Not only does this show just how big the ‘Rafa effect’ still is is in attracting players to Newcastle United, but it also shows what a coup Slimani was – with moves to Roma and Monaco offering him the chance to play at two clubs challenging at the top in some of Europe’s top leagues.
This all comes from Algerian outlet Le Buteur, who’ve had their information verified by Slimani’s camp that Roma, West Ham and Monaco all made offers for his signature on deadline day, however it was Rafa Benitez’s call to the Leicester striker that ‘changed everything’.
They state that the phone call from the Spaniard ‘immediately’ convinced Slimani to reject some big offers elsewhere and instead get on a private jet to sign on Tyneside until the end of the season. It’d have been nice to have heard that conversation fro ourselves, but this perhaps proves the the ‘Rafa effect’ still very much exists at NUFC!
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) February 6, 2018
He’s got a big job to do between now and the end of the season, but I for one am delighted to have him. Forget Jamie Carragher’s typically negative comments, I have reason to believe he’ll be a hit and the man to fire us to safety over the next few months based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told from well informed Leicester City fans..