According to reports in Algeria, Leicester City will demand £17.5m for Islam Slimani this summer – and the Chronicle have confirmed that this is a figure ‘far beyond’ what NUFC would consider paying for the 29-year-old striker.
As well all know, Slimani arrived on deadline day with a point to prove and a superb track-record in Portugal, however you could also say the writing was on the wall given he signed with a slight niggle.
This ‘minor’ thigh problem ended up keeping him out for two months, and despite the odd impressive cameo against Huddersfield and Arsenal, his time on Tyneside ended prematurely thanks to a petulant kick out at West Brom’s Craig Dawson and subsequent suspension.
He could’ve offered us something different, being a 6ft 2′, surprisingly mobile and someone who could make runs in behind and be an aerial threat in and out of the box, but he failed to convince on so many levels during his short-lived stint.
Here’s what the Chronicle have had to say about his summer price-tag and our decision to look elsewhere:
“Le Buteur reports that Leicester are hoping to recoup at least €20m (£17.5m) for the striker this summer, a figure far beyond what Newcastle would consider paying for him.
“But Benitez’s scouting department have been tracking a number of other striker targets over the last six months and, given that Slimani was a last-resort option in January anyway, his disappointing loan spell has not convinced United he should be signed permanently.”
If he had stayed fit and scored goals during his 6-month loan spell then maybe we’d have been entertaining a £17m bid for the Algerian international, although he does turn 30 next month and has a history with injury problems – so a permanent deal always looked unlikely.
Benitez will have other options and I’d imagine this sort of money could be better spent elsewhere. After all, it would seem a little farcical if Slimani became our club-record signing this summer after such a disastrous spell at St James’.