Newcastle United are interested in taking Zou Feddal to St James Park according to reports on Sunday morning.
The 6ft 3 centre-back started in 27 of Alaves’ 38 La Liga matches last season, helping them to a very decent ninth place in the table.
With bookings and two red cards he faced three different suspensions or else he could have been an ever present.
A similar profile to Newcastle’s recent signing Florian Lejeune , Zou Feddal is a left footed central defender who can also play left-back and defensive midfield.
Lejeune and SD Eibar finished one place below Alaves last season.
Like the Frenchman, Moroccan international Feddal has been a bit of a late developer and only the last three seasons have seen the 28 year old playing top flight football, in Italy and then Spain.
Playing for Parma in 2014/15, Zou Feddal saw his Italian club go bankrupt and this meant he was a free agent.
Signing for Levante in summer 2015 and in a powerful position because the club didn’t have to pay a transfer fee, he had a clause inserted meaning he could leave for nothing if the Spanish club were relegated.
After Levante did get relegated with Zou Feddal playing 28 La Liga matches, he then moved on again, this time to Alaves – who at the time were managed by Mauricio Pellegrino, who is now Southampton’s manager.
Once again in a strong negotiating position due to not carrying a transfer fee, the Moroccan defender had a buyout fee clause of only €3m (approx £2.6m) inserted in his latest contract.
The Mail say that despite Florian Lejeune having already signed, Newcastle are still showing interest in the defender, despite his very similar profile to the Frenchman.
With signings so hard to come by as Newcastle haven’t met prices asked, the £2.6m could be a bargain too good to turn down if Rafa Benitez rates the player.
Other clubs are also credited with interest, with La Liga sides Valencia and Real Betis having watched him, along with his old boss Pellegrino also considering him for Southampton.
Even with the low transfer fee, Zou Feddal’s wage demands would still be within the reach of Newcastle, much as was the case with Lejeune, as your typical La Liga player gets paid so much less than their Premier League counterparts.
Grant Hanley looks a definite to leave and much may depend on where Rafa Benitez sees the situation with Chancel Mbemba, who he sidelined for most of last season. Plus of course whether other clubs make suitable offers.