There has been a relative flurry of late activity in terms of Newcastle moving players out but Achraf Lazaar may not after all, be one of them.
Rafa Benitez has been desperate for a new left-back all summer and that was before Paul Dummett was ruled out until November, as revealed by the Chronicle.
Chancel Mbemba and Ciaran Clark have been playing out of position as emergency left-backs, as Rafa totally sidelined both Lazaar and Massadio Haidara from his Premier League squad.
Many names have been mentioned as left-back signings and earlier today it sounded as though they were in the process of landing one, with Southampton approached for Matt Targett.
However, George Caulkin of The Times says the deal now looks off because Newcastle won’t pay the loan fee the Saints are asking for.
This has apparently has a bizarre knock-on effect, with reports from Italy now claiming that due to not being able to bring in a new left-back, Newcastle have now changed their mind and want to keep Achraf Lazaar!
On the weekend when Newcastle played Huddersfield, Rafa Benitez allowed Lazaar to go and meet his agents in Milan, so he could find a new club.
This led to widespread reports that the Moroccan international would be joining Serie A newcomers Benevento for the season.
However, both Sky Sports in Italy (Gianluca de Marzio) and Calciomercato are reporting Newcastle’s claimed change of heart, in wanting to now keep Achraf Lazaar.
To further complicate matters, they both also report that whilst Newcastle may have changed their mind, the player is still determined to leave St James Park.
Achraf Lazaar was given an outing against Forest last week but his substitute appearance came as Rafa Benitez protected all of his first choice players, with only Chancel Mbemba staying in from the side that lost at Huddersfield.
Very hard to believe that Rafa Benitez would see any value of keeping hold of Lazaar, no matter whether or not a new left-back is signed, as he only gave him 36 minutes of Championship football and not a single start last season.
As always, never rule anything out at Newcastle United.