Rafa Benitez has admitted that Islam Slimani could still earn a permanent move to Newcastle after showing just how ‘desperate’ he is to play and impress, however Kenedy is a deal that ‘won’t be easy’ according to the Spaniard – even if he is ‘happy’ and ‘keen to stay’.
Starting with Slimani, here’s what Benitez has had to say about the striker’s fitness ahead of tonight’s game, his impressive cameo against Arsenal last weekend and the chances of him making his loan move from Leicester a permanent one:
“I think he’s fit enough to start – he’s been training well.”
“We needed energy (against Arsenal), and I think he has pace and he brought that.
“When a player is coming from the bench, you need to see something. ‘Something’ means at the very least, he has to run. If he’s doing well, much better, but he has to run first and foremost and work hard for the team, and he did that.”
“Still he has a contract with his club, so it’s not that he’s under pressure – but if he’s happy here, then we want to see what he is capable of doing for us.
“But, every training session, he’s showing that he’s desperate to play for us.”
Realistically, he’s got it all to do to in just 5 games to convince us he’s the man to solve our goalscoring problems, but it’s great to hear just how ‘desperate’ he is to play for us and potentially earn a permanent move.
Now to Kenedy, the impressive Brazilian just about every NUFC fans is desperate to see extend his stay at St James’ Park.
Here’s what Rafa’s had to say about our chances of signing him this summer, confirming he’s ‘happy’ and suggesting he’d be keen to stay, however he does admit that it’s a deal that is only getting more and more difficult due to his performances:
“I’ve seen the interviews and what he said.”
“I know his agent, so the point with him is that he’s doing well. I was happy because we’ve been winning and he’s been scoring goals and that’s fantastic for us and really good news for him.
“The situation is that they (Chelsea) need to know where they will finish, and we need to know where we will finish. There is plenty of time to talk.”
“It will be more difficult for us, for sure, but he’s so happy he’ll be keen to stay.”
“It wasn’t easy to bring him here, and it wouldn’t be easy to bring him here again.”
We may have seen little of Slimani, but these are two quality players who I’d be delighted to sign this summer.
How do you see it panning out folks?