The report claims that the former Sporting Lisbon striker is keen to remain on Tyneside, with Leicester happy to offload him for good this summer – providing Newcastle pay up.
Le Buteur suggest that the striker is ‘headed towards staying at St James’ Park for the foreseeable future’, but they claim a move will hinge on us paying ‘around €25m’ (£21.5m).
Benitez has admitted that he could yet earn a permanent deal at the club, but considering he’s played just three times in almost 3 months now, he’s going to have to impress over the final four games if he’s to stand a chance of making his loan move permanent.
Even if he does impress, it’ll be a difficult one. I’m really not convinced we (Mike Ashley) will break our transfer record on a player set to turn 30 in June – not forgetting the fact injuries have blighted his Premier League career since his £29m move from Lisbon to Leicester two years ago.
That being said, he’s the sort of striker I’d love to see sign at St James’ Park. Someone I’ve spoke to a lot recently on Slimani is a Leicester City season-ticket holder, and he was adamant he could become a big success at Newcastle – and I stand by that too.
He looks a player that could be PERFECT in Rafa's system. A big unit capable of holding the ball up & putting in a shift as a lone striker, but also able to run the channels & make bursts to get in behind. Pace, power, passion & a monster from crosses (which we haven't seen yet).
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) April 15, 2018
He’s surprisingly mobile, has a decent turn of pace for someone his size, he can hold the ball up and make runs in behind and he works hard for the team. If he’s kept fit, he’s the sort of striker that fits perfectly into this Rafa Benitez system.
Here’s hoping he grabs his first goal in black and white this weekend and gives Benitez something to think about. After all, he’ll have to sooner or later if we’re going to pay the alleged £21m price-tag.