Five weeks ago Aleksandar Mitrovic said he had to leave Newcastle United this month.
Now on the last day of the January transfer window he appears to have got his wish.
Sky Sports are reporting that their information is that Anderlecht have agreed a loan deal with Newcastle for striker.
The broadcaster saying that Newcastle’s number 45 also had a choice of Bordeaux and Hamburg amongst other clubs.
Rafa Benitez having said he wouldn’t be allowing Mitrovic, or anybody else, to join any of Newcastle’s rivals, after Brighton reportedly made a bid last week.
Islam Slimani on loan from Leicester as a replacement for Mitrovic is said to be the move Newcastle are trying make. However, a number of factors could potentially stand in their way.
West Ham are also reported to be interested, whilst it is also claimed that Leicester only want to sell the unwanted striker.
Then to cap it all, Keith Downie who covers Newcastle United for Sky Sports, has now reported that Islam Slimani has picked up a thigh injury in training which is expected to rule him out for at least two weeks.
That would appear to effectively rule him out, if Newcastle did sign him, of the next three matches, meaning there would be a maximum of 10 Premier League games for him to be involved in, as he also wouldn’t be able to play in the Leicester away match, unless it was a permanent deal immediately…
Rafa Benitez spoke to Mike Ashley on Tuesday and you can only assume that this intervention by the manager has sparked some very belated action and surely if Mitrovic is heading off, there surely must be a striker coming in, whether it s Slimani or whoever.
A number of media are now reporting the Slimani deal is now close, though no news yet on whether there would be any permanent clause attached – the Algerian international turns 30 in June so little wonder if Leicester will try to insist on an eventual permanent transfer.
Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason was mentioned as a possibility as well this morning.
As for Mitro, he said in that interview (read below) five weeks ago with Serbian media that former club Partizan couldn’t even afford him on loan, Anderlecht should be able to cover that but difficult to see any potential loan deal turning permanent, as the striker’s wages are far beyond what Belgian clubs can afford.
Matz Sels became the highest paid player ever in the Belgian League when joining Anderlecht on loan last summer for the season.
The Mag – 27 December 2017:
Aleksandar Mitrovic talking to Zurnal in Serbia:
“I patiently waited for the chance in recent months and I did not welcome it (not being given any starts in the Premier League).
“I’m sorry, as after all I love Newcastle, but…it’s time for me to look out more for myself, to find the best solution for my career.”
‘Do you feel a little tired?’
“No, on the contrary, I have never felt better,
“I’m physically in flawless form, I cannot wait to play.
“The most important thing is to find a club and finally get a chance on the pitch. I have not forgotten football, nor how to score goals. I earned much more (at Newcastle) but …
“I do not have much to look back on (and regret).
“I tried to be honest with myself and my teammates in every training sessionand match.
“And the fact that I did not get a chance is simply not down to me. Everyone knows that I was left in the dark.”
‘Do you know which club you will be with in January?’
“Not for now. There is no concrete offer.”
‘Do you stay in England?’
“I do not have a special desire (preference), the chances are I will leave (England).”
Is there a chance to return to Partizan?
“No, it’s an unrealistic story ..
“I think my arrival would be an expensive investment for Partizan. Totally unrealistic at this time.
“For my price, black and whites (Partizan) could cover reinforcements in several positions … For now that’s the situation, but you never know!”