Achraf Lazaar says his time at Newcastle United ‘has been a catastrophe’.
Whilst the Moroccan international has enjoyed his time off the pitch on Tyneside, on it, it has been a different matter.
Last season saw only 36 minutes of Championship football in four brief substitute appearances and he says that in these next six days, ‘we will see…what happens with the teams that are interested’. Wednesday night saw a rare appearance in the League Cup as Rafa put the likes of the left-back and Grant Hanley in the shop window, though anybody watching may not have been convinced by what they saw…
Last weekend Lazaar travelled to Italy to work with his agents on finding a club but came back without any ‘concrete offers’.
One Serie A club reported to have shown interest is Bologna.
They are set to lose their first choice left-back, Adam Masina, who is also a Moroccan defender. A deal to Sevilla was set to be triggered if the Spanish club made it through to the Champions League group stage which they accomplished this midweek.
Bologna were widely reported to have Achraf Lazaar lined up as his replacement.
However, Sport Italia have now reported that a deal to sign Lazaar is being held up due to wage demands.
The Italian broadcaster say Bologna have offered €500,000 (approx £460,000) in wages per year but the Newcastle player is holding out for his Newcastle wages to be matched, Achraf Lazaar said to be earning €1m (£920,000) per year at St James Park.
Lazaar’s agents waiting for the Serie A club, or somebody else, to come back with an improved offer.
With six days to go, time is running out for Rafa Benitez to ditch his unwanted players and bring in reinforcements.
Achraf Lazaar speaking to the Chronicle:
“For me it (time at Newcastle) has been a catastrophe, I have never felt like this in my life, but football can be like that.
“Some years you feel very good and think you are the best…then you go down a level like I have in the last year.
“It’s important that you never give up and keep working every day, your objective and your focus is on your future and that is what I am focused on.
“It’s always a good feeling to be back on the pitch and able to do something with the team.
“You want to help the team do something good – but I don’t know my future with Newcastle.
“It is important to play regularly and get chances and if you don’t have a chance with Newcastle United you need to see what the future holds.
“We will see what happens in the last week in the window and what happens with the teams that are interested.
“You know what the window is like, maybe in a couple of days you are wearing a different shirt or in another place.
“When I am with Newcastle that’s what I think about, when I’m with another team I think about that.
“I know I need to improve myself and I know I need to get back to what I was.
“I need to know if somebody wants me for a player.”
“I have been happy in Newcastle in terms of the dressing room, we are all brothers – but as a player, it’s not easy when you don’t play.
“It’s not easy to say goodbye.
“We are still speaking to teams about my future but nothing is 100% and nothing is concrete.”