It’s no secret that Newcastle United are in the market for a striker in January, and Islam Slimani could be the perfect acquisition.
The Leicester City forward has been strongly linked with a move to the North East ever since the summer, and there have been fresh reports this month that the Magpies have launched a loan bid for Slimani, according to the Northern Echo.
The 29-year-old scored in Leicester’s 3-0 victory over Huddersfield but is still down the pecking order at the King Power Stadium, and a temporary move to Newcastle could be the perfect move for both player and club.
Joselu has been Rafa Benitez’s preferred striker so far this season, leading the line with his aerial prowess despite lacking the killer instinct in front of goal, but his hold up play and reliability has made him a more attractive option than Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic respectively.
If Slimani was to arrive at Newcastle, he could be the physical threat that Benitez clearly wants at the top of the pitch, but has proven to be much more clinical throughout his career compared the the faltering Joselu, who has scored just three goals since joining the club from Stoke City.
A permanent move for Slimani would probably cost too much, with Leicester likely to want in excess of £20 million for the forward, so a loan switch has to be the best option for Newcastle. Also, with Slimani set to turn 30 later in the year, Benitez may want a striker who he can get a few more years out of in the long term.
Loan deals are common in the January transfer window, and Newcastle must use the short-term market wisely. Slimani can get the goals Newcastle need to stay in the Premier League, then once the summer window comes around, a decision can be made on who Benitez wants as his top striker going forward, with potentially more funds available to him as a takeover looms.