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.”

  • Jimblag23

    I feel sorry for him. What a sucker I am, the kids a millionaire.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Who would take an almost 50% pay cut after being put on such a massive contract at Newcastle only last year .. it’s a job to them

    • Oval85

      I can understand that when a player has reached age 30+, but I really don’t when they are 25 like he is.
      Like you said, it’s a job, a job most of them want to keep until they are 35 or more, so by staying out the contract and play reserve football will hurt you in the end.
      Not take a paycut now after just one season on the bench seems to me like a gamble (obviously, alot of player do gamble on this scenario), but imagine 3 years on the bench and the paycut he has to take on free transfer.

      • Geordiegiants

        I agree lots of player have fell by the wayside seeing out their contracts at Newcastle and other clubs.

    • Geordiegiants

      No body in the real world would, but proper footballers are just as bothered about their egos as much their pay packets, so let’s hope he wants to play football and not sit on the bench.

    • Kneebotherm8

      It’s time all players’ contracts were performance related with,in his case, maybe a 10 grand a week basic with add ons related to appearances and achievements. If that scenario had been the case then maybe he’d be signing for Bologna.

  • NUFCDan

    “For me it has been a catastrophe” – the feelings mutual. Now f*ck off please.
    Seriously though this is the problem with putting unknown players straight on PL wages.

    • TheNutJob


  • LA Toon

    I see he is serious about playing football. More fool NUFC paying a ridiculous wage. Cheaper to rescind his contract due to not performing to an acceptable level. One sided contract it seems.

  • Rich Lawson

    ”Catastrophe” Imagine how we feel pal,watching you pick up close to £1mil’ for doing nowt ?

  • Clive Lancaster

    So Ashley obviously has a buyer lined up?…He has told Charnley in private to take as long as possible selling the off-loads?….so that there is sadly no time to buy the players we need?…Asley then is not owed so much by Newcastle…Benitez quits for obvious reasons and Newcastle are relegated as Ashley sells up and rides into the sunset?…please someone tell me im wrong?

  • Paul Patterson

    Just waive fees for Good, Krul, Haidara and Gamez. They have a year left each, it’s not rocket science..